Indian Travellers Inoculated With Covishield Face EU Hurdle

Astrazeneca licensed India made vaccine is not among those approved by European Medicine Agency
WHO has approved Covishield under emergency use listing (EUL) but EMA hasn't
WHO has approved Covishield under emergency use listing (EUL) but EMA hasn't

With countries across the globe opening their borders gradually, leisure and business travel is becoming a possibility. However, Indian travellers are still in a quandary while some are still reluctant to allow arrivals from India, others are imposing strict regulations for entry.

Now adding to the dilemma is a recent media report that European Union is not likely to grant the &lsquogreen pass&rsquo (which will allow easy travel between EU countries) to Indian travellers inoculated with Covishield manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute. Apparently, the vaccine has not been included in EU&rsquos virtual vaccine passport list.

The European Medicine Agency (EMA), responsible for evaluating and supervising medicinal products for the European Union, has approved only four Covid-19 vaccines so far &ndash Comirnaty (BioNTech-Pfizer), Moderna, Vaxzevria (Oxford-AstraZeneca), and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). Hence, doubts have been raised if Indians vaccinated with Covishield will be allowed to travel across the EU. The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved Covishield under emergency use listing (EUL) but EMA has not granted it any approval. Although Pune&rsquos Serum Institute makes Covishield in India with a license from AstraZeneca, they have not applied to the EMA for approval, reports said.

There have been reports that some of the individual EU countries, such as France, too have announced that they are not likely to approve entry of travellers who have not been inoculated by EMA-approved vaccines.

Adar Poonawala, chief executive officer (CEO) of Serum Institute, has tweeted that he hopes &lsquoto resolve this matter soon, both with regulators and at a diplomatic level with countries&rsquo.

Indians inoculated with Bharat Biotech manufactured Covaxin are also faced with a dilemma as this vaccine has not been approved by WHO too. Many countries have said they will allow inoculated travellers but only those who have received WHO approved vaccines.

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