Travelers to the United States will now only need a single bivalent COVID vaccine from either Pfizer or Moderna to enter the country, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.
The loosening of vaccination requirements for foreign travelers comes as many other countries have already done so.
“Because some traveler vaccine records might not specify whether recent Moderna or Pfizer doses received were bivalent, CDC will consider anybody with record of a single dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine issued on or after August 16, 2022, to meet the requirements,” because that was when bivalent vaccines first became available, the agency said in an update to its website.
Earlier this month, the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration changed the vaccine schedule so that unvaccinated Americans could be considered fully vaccinated with just get one dose of bivalent vaccine instead of the earlier versions, CBS News reported.
Another federal agency, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, announced that healthcare workers would be considered “fully vaccinated” with the one bivalent dose.
Travel industry officials have said they expected the vaccination requirement to be allowed to expire altogether, CBS News reported.
At this point, the Transportation Security Administration has renewed the requirement through May 11.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said there was no update on the requirement, CBS News reported.
The World Health Organization has more on COVID-19.
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