World Health Organization approved vaccines recognized by Alberta

U of A also adds CoronaVac/Sinovac and Sinopharm/BBIBP to its list of recognized vaccines.

22 September 2021

Posted: September 22, 12:00 p.m.

On September 19, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health updated the province’s definition for those who it considers to be fully vaccinated to recognize World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccines. This brings welcomed news for some international students and employees who may have already received a full set of COVID-19 vaccines outside of Canada. 

Within the Province of Alberta, you are now considered fully vaccinated if you have:

  • received two doses of a World Health Organization (WHO) approved COVID-19 vaccine in a two dose vaccine series or one dose in a one dose vaccine series; 

AND

  • fourteen days have elapsed since the date on which you received the second dose of the World Health Organization (WHO) approved COVID-19 vaccine of a two dose series or one dose of the vaccine in a one dose vaccine series. 

As of September 21, you are considered fully vaccinated within Alberta if you’ve received full doses of any of the following:

Vaccine Approved by Health Canada Approved by the WHO
Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty (mRNA vaccine)

Yes

Yes

Moderna/Spikevax (mRNA vaccine)

Yes

Yes

AstraZeneca Vaxzevria/COVISHIELD 

Yes

Yes

Janssen/Johnson & Johnson

Yes

Yes

CoronaVac/Sinovac

No

Yes

Sinopharm/BBIBP

No

Yes

You can learn more about the WHO’s COVID-19 vaccine Emergency Use List by visiting their website

How this applies to U of A community members

If you are a U of A student, faculty or staff member who has been fully vaccinated with CoronaVac/Sinovac or Sinopharm/BBIBP vaccines, you are also now considered fully vaccinated at the U of A. Please update your U of A vaccination status to ‘fully vaccinated’ as soon as possible; you are no longer required to participate in regular rapid testing.

If you are partially vaccinated (e.g., one dose of a two dose vaccine), please continue to follow the U of A’s rapid testing requirements until you are fully vaccinated.

Health Canada recognition required for traveller quarantine exemption

Travellers preparing to come to Canada should note that only COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption. Therefore, individuals with CoronaVac/Sinovac or Sinopharm/BBIBP vaccines are still required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

Students traveling to Canada, regardless of vaccination status, are required to register with the Off Campus Isolation and Travel Registry

Health Canada still recommends one mRNA dose for extra protection

Health Canada still recommends that international travellers who have a complete or incomplete dose of a non-approved Health Canada vaccine should also get at least one dose of a mRNA COVID-19 vaccine approved by Health Canada. This is recommended to provide extra protection against the virus, but is not required to be considered fully vaccinated. Vaccinations are available and free in Canada. Learn more by visiting Health Canada’s website.


General inquiries: U of A Public Health Response Team, phrtinfo@ualberta.ca