American business has asked the US authorities to recognize the Sputnik V vaccination certificates. Alexis Rodzianko, President of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), told Izvestia about this. The State Department has already accepted the document for consideration, the businessman said. A letter to the US Department of Health and Human Services with a proposal to work out a mechanism for mutual recognition of certificates was also sent to the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, the Ministry told Izvestia.
According to the head of AmCham, the chamber, together with other associations of foreign business in the Russian Federation, plans to apply to the Russian government with a request to take into account foreign vaccination certificates when introducing mandatory QR codes. The Association of European Businesses (AEB) told Izvestia that they are preparing a memorandum for the European Commission and governments of the Russian Federation and the United States with a request to mutually recognize vaccination documents and abolish redundant checks for foreign specialists.
With your prick
Since November 9, the States have changed the rules for entering the country – foreigners with a nonimmigrant visa are now required to provide a certificate of full vaccination against coronavirus. Only certificates of vaccination with drugs approved by the US medical regulator or WHO… This list includes eight vaccines: American Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, a consortium drug Pfizer and BioNTech, the British-Swedish AstraZeneca, the Indian CoVishield and CoVaxin vaccines, and the Chinese SinoVac Biotech and Sinopharm.
To date, not a single Russian vaccine has entered the list of permitted entry into the United States. Therefore, citizens vaccinated by “Sputnik V” cannot get into the States – according to the requirements published by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), passengers will not be allowed on board without a vaccination certificate. At the same time, these rules do not apply to the crossing of the land and sea borders of the United States.
AmCham has applied to the State Department with a request to recognize the vaccination certificates with Sputnik V, President of the Chamber Alexis Rodzianko told Izvestia. According to him, the appeal was accepted for consideration.
– To travel from Russia to the United States, you need two things: a visa, which is now impossible to obtain, and an inoculation with the vaccine that is accepted either by the WHO or the United States. Therefore, we asked the US government to take other vaccines for business travel, including Sputnik V, ”said the head of AmCham. – The answer to our request was this: while we are thinking.
Meanwhile, as Izvestia found out, Russia has already offered the United States to work out a mechanism for the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates.
The press service of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation told Izvestia that the discussion of this issue between Moscow and Washington took place in early October.
– Based on the results of the discussion Ministry of Health Russia, in order to facilitate the mutual development of bilateral relations between Russia and the United States, sent a letter to the US Department of Health and Human Services with a proposal to consider the possibility of mutual recognition of certificates for preventive vaccinations against the new coronavirus infection and to work out a mechanism for the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates, the ministry said.
Izvestia sent inquiries to the State Department, as well as to the US and Russian embassies in Moscow and Washington.
Alexis Rodzianko emphasized: many representatives of American business in the Russian Federation are vaccinated with Sputnik V, so they do not have problems due to the restrictions in force in the regions of Russia.
However, there are difficulties for foreign specialists who come to Russia on short-term visits.
– We have already contacted the Russian government with a request to ease the rules for business travel. On December 1, a large group of foreign business associations gathers, and we will appeal to the government of the Russian Federation so that they take these points into account, so that they recognize each other’s vaccination certificates. Maybe not in order to fully accept the vaccine on their territory, but in order not to stop the business, – said the president of the American Chamber of Commerce.
The Association of European Businesses (AEB) will soon invite representatives of foreign and Russian business circles to publicly express a common position on the recognition of vaccination certificates and sign a joint memorandum, AEB General Director Tadzio Schilling told Izvestia. – This document will contain an appeal to the European Commission, national governments countries The EU and the Russian government to recognize vaccination certificates issued on the territory of the EU, the USA and the Russian Federation, to speed up the technical processes of mutual recognition of vaccines, to abolish excessive requirements for additional testing and prolonged quarantine for foreign specialists arriving in the country, ” said Tadzio Schilling.
The Russian government is considering the possibility of issuing QR codes based on antibody tests to those vaccinated with foreign vaccines, Aleksey Kurinny, deputy chairman of the health protection committee, told Izvestia.
– We have several options. This is a full-fledged recognition in Russia of foreign vaccines recognized by WHO or EMA, on the basis of mutual or unilateral acceptance. The second option is not fully recognizing the vaccine, making it possible to issue QR codes for antibodies. This issue is also being considered, the initiative is in the hands of the government, – said the deputy.
Earlier, the German Ambassador to the Russian Federation Geza Andreas von Geir voiced a similar idea: in his opinion, “one of the solutions would be to issue QR codes to everyone who was vaccinated with a vaccine recognized by WHO, or to use antibody indicators as a criterion”. V Ministry of Foreign Affairs The Russian Federation reported that foreign diplomats who could not receive QR codes in Russia are a limited group of those vaccinated with non-certified drugs, all such cases are considered separately, the issue is being worked out.
It is fair to issue a QR code to those who have a sufficient level of antibodies to protect against the virus, stated earlier and Director of the Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology named after NF Gamaleya, who developed Sputnik V, Academician Alexander Gintsburg. And how this level was achieved – as a result of vaccination or after illness – “their own business.”
In an interview with Izvestia, Aleksey Kurinny also noted that there is no need for a separate recognition of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine by the US authorities – after it is included in the list of WHO-approved vaccines, it will automatically be included in the list of those allowed to enter the United States.
– We are at the final stage in the process of recognition of “Sputnik V” in WHO. If our vaccine is recognized, then our citizens will be able to enter the United States in the same way as citizens of other countries. That is, the WHO recognizes – and the United States is opening its borders, – the parliamentarian explained.
The head of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Murashko, after a meeting with the head of WHO on October 1, said that obstacles to the registration of “Sputnik V” by the world organization had been removed.
The issue of recognizing foreign vaccines in the United States, especially the Russian vaccine, is politicized and will meet with great resistance from American pharmaceutical companies, says Associate Professor of the Department of Political Theory MGIMO Kirill Koktysh.
“There is a politicization of the issue, but in the States there is an intrinsically valuable bureaucratic procedure (recognition of vaccines), if it is launched, it will be difficult to ignore it,” the expert explained to Izvestia. – The recognition procedure, this whole market is very carefully controlled. The pharmaceutical giants will not directly interfere with the recognition of Sputnik V, it is dangerous for them. But they can do it indirectly, in hardware.
In the United States, the pharmaceutical industry has a powerful lobby in the Congress and the State Department, but if everything works according to the letter of the law, then there are chances for the recognition of Sputnik V in the United States, the political scientist stated.
There is no prohibition for those who have been ill
Despite strict vaccine restrictions for those entering the United States, there are still exceptions that Russians can take advantage of. So, the American authorities are ready to let the following categories of citizens into the country, even without a vaccine: these are diplomats, children under 18 years old, persons with documented medical contraindications for vaccination against COVID-19, participants in coronavirus vaccine trials, as well as citizens of states with limited availability of vaccines with valid US visas. This list also includes persons “whose entry will be in the national interests of the United States,” according to the CDC website. But when entering on such an “exclusive” quota, you will have to comply with a seven-day quarantine.
At the same time, the States are ready to recognize the documents on recovery from COVID-19 over the past 90 days. Confirmation can be a positive test for the virus (no more than 90 days before the departure of the flight) and a letter from a licensed laboratory or a representative of the Ministry of Health that you have received a travel permit. The CDC website does not specifically clarify whether Russian certificates of recovery will be valid. The US Embassy in Moscow did not respond to a clarifying inquiry from Izvestia.
Even for those vaccinated with a WHO-recognized vaccine, it remains necessary to present a negative coronavirus test result before boarding a plane, which was submitted no earlier than three days before departure.