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COVID-19 Travel Vaccines 101: What Filipinos Should Know About Accepted Vaccines For Travel Abroad

COVID-19 vaccines for travel abroad

While getting vaccinated as soon as possible should be our utmost priority, for travelers, especially those who work abroad such as our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), the COVID-19 vaccine brand they get is consequential. This is because some countries are particular about which brand of vaccine they allow foreign nationals to be inoculated with.

AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and two Chinese vaccines, for instance, are among the most widely accepted in international travel, according to the Economist.

Countries and areas where many Filipinos can be found such as Canada, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the European Union recognize AstraZeneca and Pfizer in particular, as well as a few other COVID-19 vaccine brands. The United States, fortunately, doesn’t require a specific vaccine brand as of writing.


COVID-19 travel vaccines - Canada
Image credit: sebastiaan stam

The Canadian government, at the time of writing, is only allowing the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Prospective travelers to the country must also receive their second or last dose at least 14 days before their arrival.

Vaccines not accepted yet in Canada are listed as follows: Bharat Biotech, Cansino, Gamalaya, Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Vector Institute.


COVID-19 travel vaccines - Qatar
Image credit: Arkin Si

In Qatar, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines are granted as detailed by the Philippine Airlines, while Sinopharm is conditionally approved.

Saudi Arabia

COVID-19 travel vaccines - Saudi Arabia
Image credit: backer Sha

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to the Philippine Airlines, is accepting foreigners jabbed with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines as well. The country also requires that the last dose must be administered a minimum of 14 days before entry.

European Union

COVID-19 travel vaccines - European Union
Image credit: Markus Spiske

For those looking forward to going to a country in the European Union, the European Medicines Agency has authorized the use of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines. 

COVID-19 test only required by the United States

The United States is not particular about vaccine brands as of writing, but they require all nationals coming from abroad to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three days of departure.

Accepted COVID-19 vaccines for international travel

Traveling outside the country can be tricky these days, especially as different countries have varying rules such as which vaccine brands they are recognizing from visitors.

But if you don’t have an urgent and necessary flight soon, it’s still best to get vaccinated as soon as possible regardless of the brand, so we can also soon help international tourism return to the way it was.

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Cover image adapted from: CHUTTERSNAP