Domestically-manufactured Covishield, a version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, has been excluded from the list of anti-COVID-19 jabs that are eligible to avail the European Union (EU)’s ‘Green Pass’.
Travellers vaccinated with Covishield may not be eligible for the European Union’s ‘Green Pass’ that will be available for use from July 1. Many EU member states have started issuing the digital “vaccine passport” that will enable Europeans to move freely for work or tourism.
The immunity passport will serve as proof that a person has been vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), or recently tested negative for the virus, or has the natural immunity built up from earlier infection
In a tweet, Poonawalla said he would take up the issue with the EU regulators and also deal with it at a diplomatic level with countries. “I realise that a lot of Indians who have taken COVISHIELD are facing issues with travel to the E.U., I assure everyone, I have taken this up at the highest levels and hope to resolve this matter soon, both with regulators and at a diplomatic level with countries,” he tweeted.
Serum produced 300 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines till mid-June and the country has administered 28.35 crore Covishield doses till date.
The EMA has so far cleared four vaccines – Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech), Moderna, Vaxzervria (AstraZeneca), Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
According to reports, the ministry of external affairs has already raised the issue of Covishield’s lack of recognition by the EMA.
On the other hand, France has clarified that it will facilitate easy entry for those vaccinated with one of the EMA-approved vaccines, and not others, like the Russian and Indian vaccines.
EU leaders expect to have vaccinated around 70% of the adult population in the region when the digital certificate will be available for use. The vaccination certificate is not a substitute for a travel document and holders must also provide a passport or identity card