US Embassy: Local regulations and enforcement may vary by state
New York’s Broadway initially excluded AstraZeneca-vaccinated individuals, but has since changed its policy
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While the United States recognizes individuals who become inoculated against the coronavirus with AstraZeneca as “fully vaccinated”, local regulations and enforcement could vary across states, according to US Embassy Nassau Public Affairs Officer Daniel Durazo.
“Yes, being vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine is considered fully vaccinated in the [United States] by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention),” he said.
“The only clear distinction made by CDC guidelines is between fully vaccinated and not yet fully vaccinated persons.”
The CDC’s guidelines for fully vaccinated people applies to COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The FDA has authorized Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson.
While the FDA has not yet authorized AstraZeneca, though it is expected to do so, the WHO has already authorized it.
Durazo continued: “Please note that local regulations and enforcement may vary by state.
“Also please note that even fully vaccinated travelers must still present a negative antigen COVID-19 test, taken no more than 72 hours before traveling, in order to enter the United States.”
There have been concerns in some quarters whether individuals vaccinated with AstraZeneca — the entire Caribbean, which has received AZ via the WHO COVAX Facility — are recognized as fully vaccinated in the US.
New York-based theatre company Jujamcyn Theaters had previously said audience members wishing to attend shows needed to be immunized with vaccines approved by the US FDA, leaving those who received AstraZeneca potentially on the sidelines.
But the company amended the policy over the weekend, citing guidance from the New York States, and said it will accept audience members vaccinated with shots approved by either the FDA or the WHO.
The United States, which has millions of doses of AstraZeneca, intends to donate 80 million doses to the world.
At least 75 percent of those doses — nearly 19 million — will be shared through the COVAX Facility, including to Latin American and Caribbean countries.
The Bahamas is expected to be included in receiving a tranche of vaccine doses.
Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt, a senior advisor to President Joe Biden’s coronavirus response team, previously said the US will export at least 10 percent of its stock of COVID-19 vaccines to other countries by July 4.
The specifics of the arrangement and whether governments on the receiving end will have to pay for the doses remain unclear.
The vaccination campaign continues in The Bahamas.
At last report, over 79,000 people had been vaccinated in-country.