The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Dear Minister LeBlanc,
As President of the Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA), a non-profit advocacy organization with more than 115,000 members across Canada, I am writing to request that the Government of Canada work with the World Health Organization (WHO) to update its guidance to ensure that mixed dosing of COVID-19 vaccines is internationally recognized as full vaccination against COVID-19.
Earlier this year, when COVID-19 vaccine supply in Canada was hindered by shipment delays, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization approved mixing Health Canada approved vaccines, allowing, for example, individuals who received AstraZeneca for their first dose to get an mRNA vaccine as their second. The science is clear; there is no scientific evidence which demonstrates that individuals who received mixed doses have lesser immunity than individuals who received the same vaccine. While Canada has taken the step to recognize and encourage mixed dosing of COVID-19 vaccines, other countries have not. This will directly impact Canadians and their ability to travel abroad as certain countries will not recognize them as fully vaccinated and therefore may deny them entry.
According to data from Health Canada, at least 1.3 million Canadians opted for a mixed-dose finish to their COVID-19 vaccination schedule in June. These Canadians should not be penalized for doing the right thing. It is paramount that the Government of Canada work with the World Health Organization and the international community to push for the recognition of mixed dosing to ensure that these individuals are not unfairly restricted. As your government is currently in the process of developing a vaccine passport for international travel, the time to act is now.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this important matter.
Canadian Snowbird Association