Getting a mixed COVID-19 vaccine — two shots but with different vaccines — could result in more than Hinder your travel plans. It can hurt your chances of working abroad.
Many countries do not recognize people who have received mixed doses of full vaccinations.
This is the general situation in the United States where the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently does not condone mixing COVID-19 vaccines.
Canadians can travel to the United States without showing evidence of vaccination. However, many cruise lines leaving the country have vaccination requirements – which are based on CDC guidelines.
As a result, some Canadian cruise ship workers say they have lost their jobs because they were not considered fully vaccinated due to their combination vaccines.
“It was really heartbreaking,” said the dancer Rosie Harbans from Toronto, who took part in the cruise ship shows. “This is how I make my money. This is how I live my life. This is my livelihood.”
Last year, the Harbans cruise ship contract was cut after the pandemic forced the cruise industry to shut down in March 2020.
So I was thrilled to get a job starting next month with a cruise line. But she said her joy — and her job offer — vanished after the cruise company learned she had mixed up COVID-19 doses: one from Pfizer and one from Moderna.
“I was very upset, because I thought getting a commingled vaccine was the right thing to do,” Harbans said.
To protect their future jobs, CBC News has agreed not to name the cruise line involved in the Harbans case or if a second cruise ship artist is interviewed for this story.
Both said they don’t blame the cruise lines, and they are speaking out to encourage the Canadian government to push for the acceptance of hybrid vaccines internationally.
“Find a solution,” Harbans said. “Try and do it as quickly as possible to all the people who received [the government’s] Advice in getting a mixed vaccine.”
Since mid-JulyThe federal government has repeatedly said it is working with other states to resolve various vaccine policies. But Ottawa has yet to announce any progress on this front.
There is no international consensus on combination vaccines
Millions of Canadians I received mixed vaccines from COVID-19. that’s why in JuneCanada has updated its guidance to recommend mixing doses of the COVID-19 vaccine based on emerging research finding it safe and effective.
But there is currently no international consensus on mixing COVID-19 vaccines.
For example, according to their government websites, both Ireland And United kingdom You are not familiar with any combination of the COVID-19 combination vaccines.
Germany And Trinidad and Tobago Just get to know a combination of AstraZeneca and Pfizer or Moderna. The World Health Organization (WHO) takes the same position – with a cautionary note.
There is currently limited data on the immunogenicity or efficacy of ‘mix and match’. [COVID-19 vaccine] The World Health Organization’s system He said in a statement.
Watch: Canada recommends mixing COVID-19 vaccines:
Center for Disease Control in the United States takes office That COVID-19 vaccines are “not interchangeable”. However, there are exceptions to the rule. The Center for Disease Control says Mixed doses of two mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, are acceptable in “exceptional cases,” such as the unavailability of the vaccine used for the first dose.
As a result, some cruise lines such as big successAnd Norwegian Cruise Line And Royal CaribbeanDo not recognize people who have had any type of combination vaccine as fully vaccinated. Other cruise companies, such as Princess JourneysAnd Holland America line And carnivalYou do not recognize the combination of AstraZeneca and the mRNA vaccine.
Several cruise lines told CBC News that they simply follow CDC protocol. “We are under the authority of the CDC when operating in US waters and following its guidelines regarding approved vaccines and procedures,” Holland America Line said in an email.
“We killed ourselves in the foot”
Having a mixed vaccine is detrimental to livelihoods, says Michael Harrison, a cruise ship entertainment worker.
“It’s very important that this gets sorted,” said Harrison, who has spent 25 years as a stomach-churning comedian on cruise ships.
“that it [my] Recruit. It’s a profession I’ve had all my life.”
Harrison and his fiancée, who serves as his assistant, both got a mix of AstraZeneca and Moderna.
Harrison said that over the past two months, the duo have been offered jobs with two different cruise lines — with the first gig starting this month. But Harrison said when he learned that cruise companies don’t recognize people with a mix of AstraZeneca and Moderna as having been fully vaccinated, the pair had to reluctantly decline job offers.
“We had no proof that he wouldn’t be recognized,” said Harrison’s fiancée, Jennifer Jesbrecht. “Here we think we’re doing something really good and we’ve shot ourselves in the foot.”
Some cruise workers are considering a third dose
Last week the federal government announce It plans to create a standardized vaccination proof passport for international travel by early fall.
The announcement did not include any decision on the issue of mixed vaccines, which Ottawa said is still being implemented.
“The Government of Canada continues to work with the World Health Organization and its international partners to share data that demonstrates the effectiveness of the mixed vaccine schedule,” Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said. in the current situation.
Concerned that they are running out of time, Harrison and Gisbrecht are looking into getting a third dose of the vaccine, so they are given two doses of the same vaccine.
However, in Canada, only Quebec And Saskatchewan They announced that they are offering third doses to travelers abroad. Both Quebec and Saskatchewan told CBC News that at this time, only people who live in the province can apply.
Wednesday, the United States announced that it plans to begin offering enhanced COVID-19 shots to all American adults next month as an additional layer of protection. Although Canada is exploring the effectiveness of third doses, it I don’t recommend them at this time.
“We don’t really know the exact effects of adding another dose to the current schedule,” Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said at a press conference earlier this month.
She also suggested that it may take some time before the mixed vaccine problem is resolved.
“It’s going to be a bit confusing and complicated in the coming months.”
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