Canadians with the AstraZeneca Vaccine Are Being Barred from Concerts in the U.S.

Bruce Springsteen is one of many artists requiring that attendees get jabbed — but the AZ vaccine doesn't qualify

Photo: Rick Clifford

BY Alex HudsonPublished Jun 17, 2021

The concert industry is restarting in the U.S., and some artists and venues are requiring that attendees have proof of vaccination. Anti-vaxxers have been angry about not being able to go to shows, but it turns out that there's a whole other demographic suddenly ineligible for concerts: Canadians who have had the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Bruce Springsteen's Broadway show, the acoustic performance Springsteen on Broadway, has released its COVID-19 restrictions, which specify that "guests will need to be fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine." This includes the vaccines from Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — but since AstraZeneca currently isn't approved by the FDA, it isn't on the list.

UPDATE (6/20, 10 p.m.): NYC's Jujamcyn Theaters has now reversed its decision about AZ, allowing for those who are fully immunized with two shots of the AstraZeneca to attend.

Similar rules appear to apply to other shows in the U.S. with vaccination requirements. For example, the website for New York's Madison Square Garden specifically mentions that show-goers must have received the Pfizer-BioNtech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. That venue will be hosting Foo Fighters, the Eagles and more in the coming weeks and months.

These policies don't specifically target the AstraZeneca vaccine or make any mention of it whatsoever. But even though Canadians with the AZ jab aren't being intentionally singled out, they're still being barred from live events in a country where that vaccine hasn't been approved.

For now, the issue is mostly moot, since nonessential travel between the U.S. and Canada is currently not allowed, so Canadians aren't likely to be flocking to see Springsteen on Broadway anyway. The long-term impacts of these policies have yet to be seen, but it's easy to imagine ongoing policy problems concerning vaccines that are approved in some countries but not others.

As of June 5, 1.7 million Canadians have received as least one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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