France allowed international travelers who have received the Covishield, AstraZeneca’s Indian-manufactured vaccine, into the country starting Sunday. The move to accept visitors vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine made by India’s Serum Institute came after a global outcry over the very fact that the EU Unions COVID-19 certificate only recognizes AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in Europe.
Several nations approve the Covishield vaccine for international visit their country, which incorporates 16 European nations. Recently, the EU launched the “Green Pass” program, which might allow travelers who are vaccinated with an approved set of vaccines to travel inside the EU’s 27-country zone.
“It is indeed excellent news for travelers, as we see 16 European countries recognizing Covishield as an acceptable vaccine for entry. However, despite being vaccinated, entry guidelines might vary from country to country,” said Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India, after France’s announcement.
Here are the countries which have given recognition to Covishield for international travel:
• Antigua and Barbuda
• Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
• Cabo Verde
• Côte d’Ivoire
• Saint Christopher and Nevis
• Saint Lucia
• Saint Vincent and therefore the Grenadines
• Solomon Islands
• South Africa
• Sri Lanka
• The Bahamas
• Trinidad and Tobago
India had kicked off its vaccination drive on January 16 this year, with the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine ‘Covishield’, locally manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and Covaxin, made by Bharat Biotech. India has also been pushing for international recognition and approval of Covaxin.
With the World Health Organization (WHO) beginning a review process for Covaxin, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech had said on Monday that it intends to acquire an emergency use listing (EUL) from the worldwide body as soon as possible.
The ‘Green Pass’ Row
After the EU introduced the green pass, a travel pass between European nations for persons vaccinated with one of four vaccines: Comirnaty by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Vaxzervria by AstraZeneca-Oxford, and Janssen by Johnson & Johnson, there were concerns in India.
Despite the very fact that Covishield is that the Indian equivalent of the AstraZeneca vaccine, it had been not included within the EU green pass list. Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India, which manufactures Covishield, has stated that the difficulty has been raised at the very best levels which he hopes to resolve quickly.
The EU green card will allow smooth travel across the EU’s 27 member countries. Countries shouldn’t impose additional travel restrictions, like mandatory quarantine, on persons who travel with a green pass, which is effectively a certificate of immunization.
India has urged EU member states to recognize Covishield and Covaxin on an individual basis and treat vaccinated Indians equally to those vaccinated in EU countries.