A day after India formally requested European Union member states to include both COVISHIELD and COVAXIN in their exemption list for the passport, Switzerland and seven EU countries have added the Serum Institute-manufactured Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine.
Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland and Spain are the seven EU member countries that accepted COVISHIELD vaccine on Thursday.
The Centre on Wednesday said that the failure to include Covishield and Covaxin will force India to implement mandatory quarantine rules for EU citizens.
Urging the member states to accept vaccination certificates issued through the CoWIN portal, Indian authorities had said that ‘the genuineness of such vaccination certification can be authenticated through CoWIN’.
Only four vaccines — Comirnaty of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Vaxzervria by AstraZeneca-Oxford and, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen — have been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Only those inoculated with these vaccines will be given vaccination passports and allowed to travel within the EU during the pandemic.
“Individual member states have the flexibility to also accept vaccines that have been authorised at the national level or by the World Health Organization,” top government sources had told CNN-News18.
Besides, Ambassador of the European Union to India and Bhutan Ugo Astuto had on Monday said the EU Digital COVID Certificate is meant to facilitate safe free movement during the pandemic within the EU, but was not a pre-condition to travel.
“It will serve as proof that a person was vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19. The aim of the EU Digital COVID Certificate is to facilitate free movement inside the EU. It is not a pre-condition to travel,” he told CNN-News18.