Select European Countries Agree to Allow Indian Travellers Inoculated With Covishield Vaccine

Austria, Germany, Greece, Switzerland and a few others clear India-made Covishield vaccine
Serum Institute of India, makers of Covishield, is the world's largest vaccine manufacturer
Serum Institute of India, makers of Covishield, is the world's largest vaccine manufacturer

Indians inoculated with the Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Pune based Serum Institute of India, with license from AstraZeneca, can now travel to select European countries.

With countries across the globe opening their borders gradually, travel industry stakeholders are looking forward to an uptick in leisure and business travel as much as the travellers themselves.

But Indian travellers are still in a dilemma Covaxin is yet to receive approval from WHO, while Covishield, which was approved by the WHO, was not among the four vaccines recognised by the European Medicine Agency (EMA), responsible for evaluating and supervising medicinal products for the European Union.

However, according to latest media reports, select European countries have decided to recognise Covishield and travellers inoculated with this vaccine will be allowed to travel to these countries.

Countries which have cleared the Covishield vaccine are Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Ireland, Spain, Iceland, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

However, the quantum of relaxation allowed by these countries is still not clear yet, if Indian travellers will receive the same exemptions as enjoyed by those with &lsquogreen pass&rsquo.

Media reports early this week said that the European Union was not likely to grant the &lsquogreen pass&rsquo (which will allow easy travel between EU countries) to Indian travellers inoculated with Covishield as it was not included in EU&rsquos virtual vaccine passport list.

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

While Adar Poonawala, chief executive officer (CEO) of Serum Institute, tweeted that he hoped &lsquoto resolve this matter soon, both with regulators and at a diplomatic level with countries&rsquo, media reports citing sources from the India&rsquos external affairs ministry said that the central government was also looking into the matter and there were talks of India implementing a reciprocal policy regarding the EU digital certificate.

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