Did you know that Canadians can get vaccinated in the USA? My friend just got his second dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in the USA and the process went smoothly. Disclaimer – I have yet to try this strategy. My pharmacist friend who got his second dose in the USA was the one that gave me this full report to share with my readers.
Why should you get your second vaccine dosage in the USA? If you read the guideline for the Pfizer-BionTech Covid-19 vaccine, you’re supposed to get your second dose 21 days after your first vaccine. Pfizer also recommends you get the second dose before 42 days have passed.
In the event of a possible shortage of vaccines, Canada has decided that it could take up to 4 months for you to get your second dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
I’m not sure what will happen if we wait up to 4 months before getting that second vaccine dose. But, if you’re the type of person that wants to follow the proper guideline to get vaccinated, then going to the USA to get your second dose might be the logical course of action.
VIDEO – How Canadians Can Get Vaccinated In The USA (No Quarantine Hotel)
How Canadians can get vaccinated in the USA
Step 1 – Use vaccinefinder.org
To find places to get vaccinated in the USA, use the website vaccinefinder.org. Make sure to use a VPN; otherwise, the website won’t show you the locations where you can get vaccinated.
Step 2 – Pick a pharmacy in the USA and make a booking on their website
In general, the easiest way for Canadians to get vaccinated in the USA is through Walgreens or CVS (Target). If you have a Costco membership, that is another option for you.
When booking your vaccine through those American pharmacies, they will ask you for your USA address. You can simply enter your hotel address and they’ll accept that. (That’s what my friend did.)
Step 3 – Fly to the US city where you booked to get vaccinated
Before going to the USA, you will need to get either a PCR or an Antigen test. My friend went the rapid antigen test route because it was cheap and only took 15 minutes.
To save money on flights, you can redeem your Aeroplan points to fly to the US city where you booked your vaccine.
Step 4 – Get vaccinated
The next step is to get vaccinated at the pharmacy location you booked your vaccine at. When you arrive, just be honest and tell them you’re Canadian and don’t have a State ID or American health insurance. They’re fine with vaccinating anyone because the US has illegal immigrants and they want them to have access to the vaccine to further reduce the spread of Covid-19.
According to my pharmacist friend, the US government will reimburse the pharmacy around $25 USD per shot. Therefore, they don’t really care to vaccine ex-pats or anyone else that wants to get it.
After you get vaccinated, you’ll get a CDC physical vaccine card as well as a printed receipt and electronic receipt as proof that you got vaccinated.
Step 5 – Cross back to Canada by Land
In order to cross back to Canada, you will need to get a NAAT/NAT test first from the USA. My pharmacist friend told me that the best one to get is Abbott’s ID NOW test at Walgreens which is a type of NAAT test. It will take less than 24 hours to get the result according to Abbott. However, my friend said that in reality, you’ll get the result in 30 minutes. Receiving the report by email may take more time.
You’ll want to avoid flying back to Canada. If you do, they’ll force you to do the hotel quarantine which can cost you upwards of $1500. Instead, cross back to Canada through one of the land borders. You’ll have to drive across unless it’s one of the borders that allow crossing by foot such as the Peace Arch. At the moment, there’s no law forcing you to stay at an expensive quarantine hotel when coming back to Canada by land.
Finally, you do need to complete a test kit on the day-8 of your quarantine after returning back home.
Will I be following this strategy to get the second dose of vaccine after receiving the first one? Personally, I’m not sure yet. I’m waiting to see how the vaccine rollout in Canada comes along. If I don’t get the second vaccine when it’s close to 42 days since receiving the first one, then I will strongly entertain the idea of flying down to the US to get vaccinated.
I haven’t received the first vaccine yet as of writing this article. Therefore, I will just wait and see what happens for now. If you’re really itching to travel now, this might be a good strategy for you. This way, you protect yourself and those around you from getting Covid-19.
This method is also good if you want to get other vaccines. American options are Moderna or Johnson and Johnson. Johnson and Johnson only requires one shot which makes it convenient. Moderna requires two shots so you’d have to stay in the US for a few weeks to get the second dose. This is only good if you’re a snowbird that will be living in the US for a prolonged period of time.