New data reveals the COVID jab that will get you the most stamps on your vaccine passport

Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccination proof booklet in passport. Travel ban health certificate Corona screening of travelers tourists. Closure of airports restricted traveling.

When it comes to international travel, not all COVID-19 vaccines are created equal, according to new research.

As governments around the world roll out plans for allowing vaccinated international travellers within their borders, many jabs aren’t getting the stamp of approval.

Sourcing data from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNTO) and travel website VisaGuide.World, The Economist has mapped out which vaccines are best when it comes to international travel.

Despite causing issues for those travelling to Europe, the AstraZeneca vaccine is the most widely accepted vaccine in terms of certification, with approval from 119 countries.

But as you go down the list, it gets more complicated. The next most accepted vaccine is Pfizer, which will allow travellers to access around 90 countries, followed by Russia’s Sputnik V qualifying for around 65.

Further down the list, India’s Covidshield, which is made identically to the AstraZeneca jab being administered across Europe (and Australia), will get you into less than 50 countries, while China’s CanSinoBio is only recognised by a small handful.

However, as The Economist points out, your choice of vaccine doesn’t cease to matter once you cross the border.

While the US doesn’t currently require proof of vaccine to the countries it is currently open to, many venues in the states have indicated they will require proof of an FDA approved vaccine for entry, which excludes even those who have received the AstraZeneca jab.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is sticking to its original recommendation that countries do not ask travellers for proof of vaccination upon entry, given the limited global access and inequitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

WHO also recommends that people who are vaccinated should not be exempt from complying with other travel risk-reduction measures, like undergoing a COVID-19 test or wearing a face mask due to the number of scientific unknowns when it comes to transmission.

“Data from vaccination studies show that some vaccinated persons may still become infected and develop disease which, in most instances, is mild,” the WHO said in its most recent position paper.

“Hence, international travellers who are vaccinated are unlikely to develop severe COVID-19 disease and consequently they do not impose increased strain on health systems at the countries of destination.

“However, their ability to infect others and the risk they pose for further transmission remain unknown.”

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has also called out international governments for being selective when it comes to vaccine certification, pointing out that uncertainty around what will be accepted has fuelled concerns from consumers, deterring them from booking overseas trips.

“The failure of countries to agree on a common list of all approved and recognised vaccines is of huge concern to WTTC, as we know every day travel is curbed, more cash-strapped travel and tourism businesses face even greater strain, pushing ever more to the brink of bankruptcy,” said Virginia Messina, senior vice president at the WTTC.

“We can avoid this by having a fully recognised list of all the approved vaccines – and vaccine batches – which should be the key to unlocking international travel, not the door to preventing it.”

Last week, it was revealed that Aussie travellers who opt for the AstraZeneca vaccine may be denied entry to some European countries.

The same applied to those who receive India’s Covidshield.

Although both the Aussie and Indian versions of the jab are made exactly the same as those administered in the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has not approved CSL’s Melbourne facility or India’s Serum Institute of India (SII).

Featured image source: iStock/Maridav

Email the Travel Weekly team at

AstraZeneca Covidshield Pfizer vaccine world health organisation World Health Organization

Latest News

  • Cruise

Cruise Traveller’s new Scottish Highlands cruise tour package

Australian small ship cruising specialist, Cruise Traveller, offers a 20-night land and sea holiday in the UK aboard the Lord of the Glens. The tiny cruise line’s 52-guest boutique vessel, Lord of the Glens, is purpose-built to explore the intricate waterways and lochs of the Scottish Highlands. It boasts a rich, traditional ambience with polished […]

  • Cruise

Celebrity Xcel’s keel-laying ceremony in France, with 2025 inaugural sail planned

Construction has commenced on Celebrity Cruises’ next ship, Celebrity Xcel, with a keel-laying ceremony at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. An Edge Series ship, Celebrity Xcel will set sail in autumn 2025, with several new yet-to-be-revealed offerings. At the ceremony, Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group (RCG), the parent […]

  • Destinations
  • Tour Operators

Globus unveils nine new independent tours for 2025

Coach touring brand Globus has unveiled nine new independent tours for 2025, from Bangkok to Bali and Abu Dhabi to Nepal. “With Globus Independent tours, our guests are free to enjoy the many benefits of touring, untethered and unscheduled,” APAC head of marketing, Globus family of brands (GFOB), Chris Fundell said. “Providing hand-picked hotel accommodations, […]

  • Hotels

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group opens Mandarin Oriental Mayfair

The Mandarin Oriental has opened a second property in London, the Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, in the heart of historic Hanover Square. Designed by internationally renowned Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, the hotel is the first new build in Mayfair in over a decade. Bringing a modern architectural approach to one of London’s most storied squares, […]

  • Hotels

Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort unveils Coral Kids Club

On top of its US$85 million (AU$150m) transformation, Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort’s new Coral Kids Club provides an engaging activity centre for kids. Designed for keiki (children), ages 5-12, the activity centre offers daily cultural workshops with hands-on activities rooted around the Āina Guardian workbook. It was developed by Candes Gentry, co-author of Eat […]

  • Hotels

Minor Hotels announces fourth franchised hotel

Minor Hotels has added to its portfolio of more than 500 hotels in operation after signing Oaks Melbourne on William Suites as its fourth franchised hotel. The 220-room apartment hotel is the third Oaks property signed under a franchise model after the Oaks Toowoomba and Oaks Townsville Metropole. The proven success of these properties highlights […]

  • Destinations

Phuket unveils cutting-edge medical facility

Minor Hotels has announced Layan Life by Anantara, a world-class medical wellness facility that is set to elevate Phuket’s reputation as an international medical wellness destination. The new facility is set across 1,767sqm within the grounds of Anantara Layan Phuket Resort and is set to open in Q3 of this year. It offers a blend […]

  • Events

Out West Piano Fest comes alive in Bathurst

The three-day symphony of the senses comes back to Bathurst, at picturesque Blackdown Farm, as Out West Piano Fest returns 25-27 October. Located just five minutes away from Bathurst NSW is a pastoral heritage, art, and culture. It was also once home to Australian artist, Tim Storrier. The extensive gardens in full spring bloom offer […]

  • Attractions
  • Cruise

Japan in Bloom with Cruise Express

Send clients out to experience the best of the Land of the Rising Sun with Cruise Express and their Japan in Bloom expedition, a 21-night adventure. As interest in Japan hits an all-time high, Cruise Express is pleased to announce its ultimate Japanese bucket list trip. This adventure is geared for Australians wanting to tick […]

  • Road & Rail

Explore Uzbekistan with Golden Eagle Luxury Trains

Golden Eagle Luxury Trains presents an exclusive itinerary to Uzbekistan with ensuite cabins, a personal cabin attendant, and off-train excursions. Travelling aboard the opulent Golden Eagle train, with ensuite cabins, guests will dive deep into Uzbekistan’s spectacularly global cultural identity. A personal cabin attendant, all porterage and gratuities and all off train excursions are included […]