Ecuador Health Minister Ximena Garzón said Thursday that the government cannot certify Covid-19 vaccinations obtained abroad. “We have hundreds of requests from people who have been vaccinated in other countries to have that information registered in our database but we are unable to do this,” she said. “We can only prove inoculations received from official vaccination centers in Ecuador.”
Garzón said Thursday that Ecuadorians vaccinated in the U.S. are bringing their vaccine cards to regional ministry offices asking that their shots be recognized in the country. “There are talks underway to share vaccine information digitally among countries but there is currently no agreement of how to do this,” say said, adding Ecuador’s policy is no different than that of most other countries.
“Even if we were inclined to recognize foreign vaccines, we would have to consider the high rate of counterfeit paper certificates, especially from the U.S.,” she said.
She pointed out that foreign vaccines are recognized for the purpose of international travel and tourism and that there are currently no country-wide vaccine mandates in Ecuador. “If some businesses or institutions, such as restaurants, request proof of vaccination they are free to accept whatever documentation they choose.”
Garzón has some advice for Ecuadorians who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine abroad. “This is the most popular vaccine for Ecuadorians traveling to the U.S. and because the current data shows that its effectiveness has fallen to 60 percent, I advise those who have received it to get a dose of Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Sinovac in Ecuador as a supplement. The vaccines we have administered indicate 80 percent to 90 percent effectiveness.”