Sep 27, 2021 - World

New U.S. travel rule excludes those vaccinated with Russia's Sputnik V

Woman receives a vaccine jab, with a sign behind her in Russian cyrillic
A woman receives the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Sergei Savostyanov\TASS via Getty Images

New rules allowing fully vaccinated international travelers to enter the U.S. beginning in November will exclude those vaccinated by Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Sputnik V's exclusion will mean millions of fully vaccinated individuals won't be eligible to travel to the U.S., per the Post.

  • It will also have a wider international impact, as Russia has plans to distribute its vaccine to around 70 countries.

State of play: According to the new rules, non-citizens entering the country must be inoculated with vaccines approved for emergency use by either the Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization, per the Post.

  • These include the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines used widely in the U.S., as well as the AstraZeneca vaccine. It also includes the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines developed by China.
  • The WHO has paused its review process of the Sputnik V vaccine over concerns about its manufacturing process, the Post notes.

The big picture: While addressing the UN General Assembly on Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for the mutual recognition of vaccines by national oversight bodies.

  • The Post notes that 300,000 Russians visited the U.S. in 2019, citing data from the U.S. Travel Association.
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