Government AffairsNot all vaccines are created equal in the eyes of governments.

Which Covid vaccine is most accepted for international travel?

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According to The Economist, the AstraZeneca vaccine is most widely accepted by governments worldwide.
According to The Economist, the AstraZeneca vaccine is most widely accepted by governments worldwide. Photo Credit: Getty Images/tovovan

The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently the most widely used and accepted across the world when it comes to travel with 119 governments recognising it, according to research by The Economist.

Second in line is Pfizer-BioNTech, followed by Sputnik V. Coming in third and fourth places are Sinopharm and Moderna respectively.

Vaccine acceptance among countries, like the patchwork of complex and ever-changing cross-border travel rules, is causing confusion.

Vaccine acceptance according to types.
Vaccine acceptance according to types. Photo Credit: The Economist

However, not all vaccines are viewed equally, just as how vaccine distribution and access have been unequal around the world.

The type of vaccine received also determines if a traveller can have entry into a country or destination.

While the AstraZeneca vaccine is most widely accepted by governments worldwide, many EU countries do not accept Covishield (the AstraZeneca vaccine made at the Serum Institute of India) as valid although they accept the Europe-manufactured version.

Belgium, for instance, accepts the Covishield for entry but not France, further complicating the entry rules into the block. Travellers to France must be vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency. That includes Pfizer (Comirnaty), Moderna, AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen).

Meanwhile, several countries including Thailand and Indonesia are combining Covid jabs, although some governments and cruise lines have announced that they would not accept mixed vaccines.

Already, the World Travel and Tourism Council has issued warnings to governments that inconsistent vaccine recognition could further delay the restart of international travel.

VisaGuide.World has developed a new tool to help travellers verify whether the vaccine they have received is recognised by the country they wish to visit.

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