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Boston Marathon to test travellers with mixed COVID vaccine doses

Boston qualifiers who received doses from different vaccine brands will be tested upon arriving at the race expo

A Canadian-based marathoner who requested anonymity has been informed by the B.A.A. that runners arriving at the Boston Marathon expo next month must provide proof that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or be tested onsite. Runners who received doses from different vaccine brands (which a significant number of Canadians have) must wait for test results before being admitted to the race expo.

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“I reached out to B.A.A. regarding whether their health and safety policy would recognize those fully vaccinated with doses from different brands (Astra/Pfizer/Moderna),” the runner told Canadian Running in an email Friday. “This is the situation for many Canadians and probably some Canadian runners going to run Boston in a few weeks.”

This was the response he received, in full:

“Prior to bib number pick-up, Boston Marathon participants will be required to either produce proof of a complete vaccination series of a World Health Organization-certified vaccine or produce a negative COVID-19 test, which will be administered on site in a Boston Marathon medical tent. The WHO certified vaccines are linked here, but for ease, a WHO certified vaccine is considered to be both doses of a two-dose vaccine, or one dose of a singular dose vaccine. If you do not have one of the previously mentioned WHO certified vaccines, you will need to be tested at the Boston Marathon medical tent. If you have received a mixed dose of two different vaccines, you will need to be tested at the Boston Marathon medical tent.

Boston Marathon Start courtesy of Boston Athletic Association

“Vaccine verification will occur Friday, October 8 through Sunday, October 10 in co-ordination with the Boston Marathon Expo hours. Participants may bring an original paper copy, digital copy, photocopy, or photo of their vaccination proof.

“The B.A.A. will work with a third-party testing provider for test administration and results tracking. Testing will begin no earlier than 72 hours prior to participant start times on Monday, October 11. Exact hours, locations, and additional details will be communicated directly to all participants. Tested participants will not receive immediate access to enter the Boston Marathon Expo for bib number pick-up and will be required to wait for confirmation of test results. Testing will take about 30 minutes to complete and receive results. The fastest path to pick up numbers for the 125th Boston Marathon is being fully vaccinated.”

The response did not include information on the procedure to be followed in the case of a positive COVID test, but presumably those individuals would not be admitted to the race expo or the race itself.

Our correspondent predicted that “having to get tested isn’t a big deal if it works in practice, i.e., [provided] there isn’t a huge, long time to lineup for it and if it truly only takes 30 minutes to get results. It’s something that’s worth knowing for those it may affect, and I think it also speaks to the larger issue of problems Canadians can face when traveling.”