Restricting travel over vaccine type could be discrimination, PAHO warns

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MEXICO CITY, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Countries ought to grant entry to vaccinated vacationers no matter which shot they acquired to forestall discrimination and facilitate enterprise, a high official of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) stated on Wednesday.

With vaccination charges on the rise, international locations are going through contemporary questions on the best way to comprise the unfold of COVID-19 whereas easing pandemic travel restrictions.

The United States final week stated it might reopen the land border with Mexico – the busiest on the planet – however solely permit individuals who have been inoculated with vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), leaving out two photographs closely utilized in Mexico – Russia’s Sputnik V and one from China’s Cansino Biologics (6185.HK).

“It is very important that countries can reach bilateral, multilateral agreements, so that all the vaccines that are being used can be accepted,” PAHO Assistant Director Jarbas Barbosa instructed a news convention.

“It can facilitate tourism, it can facilitate business, it is in the interest of society,” Barbosa stated.

Turning away individuals based mostly on their vaccine could unfairly impression sure vacationers, he stated, including, “This could undoubtedly create a kind of discrimination.”

Millions of Mexicans have been vaccinated with Sputnik V and Cansino photographs. Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stated he’ll urge the WHO to hurry up approvals.

Forty-one p.c of individuals throughout Latin America and the Caribbean have now been absolutely vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, though not evenly throughout the area, PAHO Director Carissa Etienne stated.

The COVAX vaccine sharing program is scheduled to offer one other 4.6 million photographs to the area by the tip of the week.

Etienne urged individuals to get vaccinated in opposition to each COVID-19 and influenza, noting that some individuals could have decrease defenses in opposition to the flu from staying at residence and social distancing.

Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bill Berkrot

A woman receives a dose of Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine during a vaccination campaign inside the University of Santiago, Chile June 30, 2021. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado