Canadians who received AstraZeneca vaccine excluded from seeing Bruce Springsteen, as Broadway opens up

Broadway is reopening in New York City, but not all Canadians may be welcome.

Rocker Bruce Springsteen will reopen his Broadway production next week, and only those who have been fully vaccinated with either the Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines will be allowed to attend the show. That excluded many Canadians who received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

"It’s absolutely not fair," Kerry Bowman, bioethicist with the University of Toronto tells CTV News Ottawa.

"For the people that stepped up early, listening to our national messages - take the first available vaccine; it’s not just about you, it’s about society, it’s really quite a blow."

On its website, the theatre says only vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration count.

"At the direction of New York State, only FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson) will be accepted for proof of vaccination for ticket holders 16 years and older."

The only exception is anyone under the age of 16 has to show a negative COVID-19 test.

"Is it valid? Is it reasonable? I would say it’s absolutely not, when you look at the clinical evidence of the vaccines" says Bowman.

He points out that it's not just Canadians who will be affected by the rules.

"The amount of Europeans and international people that are not going to be able to access it, is going to be really significant."

For him, it’s more than not being able to see a show. Bowman is a bioethicist who took two doses of AstraZeneca, and he's concerned about other travel.

"It’s very worrisome. I’m actually working with the United Nations because I work in Global Health; and, I may be in a position where I can’t get into certain countries."

"I think as Canadians, we have to remember that it’s not entirely up to us. We are visiting their country, and we will have to definitely be going by the rules and regulations set out by each country that we visit," says Elaine Simpson of Ottawa’s Algonquin Travel and Cruise Centre.

Simpson says it’s best to check with your travel agent, and is hopeful that the issue will be sorted soon,

"I have AstraZeneca, and I’m getting my second dose next week. So, I’m hoping Broadway, and just shopping - just that kind of thing, just to be able to be able to get back to the states."

In a press conference on Thursday, Ontario’s Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said the province is working with other levels of government this week on solutions.

"We will make sure that individuals in Ontario and Canada, who received a Health Canada approved,  NACI approved AstreZeneca will have the same rights as individuals who received other vaccines."

For Bowman, he thinks that needs to happen soon.

"If we want the global economy to reintegrate itself and get moving, we have to figure these things out pretty quickly."