For several months, the USA has been an outlier in the requirement to present proof of Covid vaccination if you are a foreign national at the border. As we move into 2023, many thought they would come into line with most countries, but on January 3rd the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published an emergency amendment to its document on ‘Requirements for Proof of Being Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19’. This means the USA extends the Covid vaccine requirement for foreign visitors until 10 April 2023.
Most people with two vaccine doses are just as likely to test positive for Covid-19 as someone unvaccinated
The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention in the USA explains that someone must be fully vaccinated with the primary series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine to travel to the United States by plane if a non-U.S. citizen. They define fully vaccinated as those who have had both doses of a 2-dose series or a single dose of a 1-dose series. There is no requirement for any further booster doses to travel to the USA.
My previous blog shows data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the UK showing individuals who had not had a fourth vaccine in the 90 days up to 07 May 2022, were just as likely to test positive for Covid-19 as someone unvaccinated. The data was consistent with reports last winter that COVID-19 protection wanes 90 days after having had a dose of a vaccine.
If we look at data in England, we know that 93% of those who meet the USA vaccine requirement of two doses completed this over a year ago, well over 90 days. Since this, over the past year, we have seen the Omicron variant rip through the world population in both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Bill Gates explained the variant had done a better job of creating both T Cell and B Cell immunity than the vaccines.
When most people fully vaccinated have the same likelihood of testing positive for COVID-19 as someone unvaccinated, having a policy that discriminates between the two groups makes no sense scientifically. It is for this reason that most countries around the world dropped this unscientific policy in 2022.
Some cite that an unvaccinated person may be more likely to require healthcare, but this varies considerably by age, and also individuals have health insurance. In addition, the USA rarely prevents people with underlying health conditions from entering. Individuals insure themselves appropriately should they require treatment while in the country.
I have had two COVID-19 vaccinations but will not support any country that continues with these tyrannical rules. The USA is adopting a position where someone with Covid-19 but has had two vaccines can enter freely, but someone unvaccinated and does not have the virus cannot enter. While the USA extends the Covid vaccine requirement remember the Joe Biden administration can revoke when they want.
It is worth noting there are some exemptions that allow travel for foreign nationals, and while the requirement is in place, there may not be checks on everyone to see if they meet the travel requirements. Oh, and I am informed you can walk into the USA unvaccinated, so that may be another option if you become really desperate.