Q – I am, like so many of your followers, totally flummoxed by this entire vaccination process. My wife and I are scheduled to arrive in Stockholm next April and we have some form of certification that we’ve had the shots. But aren’t there folks from all over the world trying to get through customs at the same time with a wide variety of shots that are homegrown, from China, from Russia, etc. Who decides which shots are legit and which ones aren’t? Or has this just not come up yet like so many other areas of Covid travel? Love your thoughts.
A – The lack of coordination in this world crisis is demonstrable. Even the United States, could not bring itself to regulate the vaccination process, leaving management to the various State Houses to sort it out for themselves while the CDC postured in the background. The EU clearly got it wrong, ordering too little, too late, and trying to negotiate on behalf of member countries that just wanted the supplies. Meanwhile, the rich countries bought up much of the available supply leaving countries in Africa, South America, and Asia to scramble to either manufacture their own or purchase vaccines from China or the Sputnik V from Russia (which has been testing rather well).
No one knows what might happen next week let alone next April. But our sense is that you will be absolutely fine. The Pfizer-BioNTech SE, Moderna Inc., and Johnson & Johnson shots have all received preliminary emergency use clearance from both the CDC and the EU. This should make it easy for vaccinated Americans to cross borders. But you have raised an important point – no one knows yet what the US or EU reaction is going to be when numbers of Chinese and Russian visitors approach our borders. This will likely include large numbers of visitors trying to enter Europe with homegrown vaccine histories.