The United Kingdom revised its travel advisory on Wednesday in which it said that Covishield, the coronavirus disease vaccine jointly developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) – will qualify as an approved vaccine for travellers visiting Britain from any part of the world from October 4 onwards. However, Indians vaccinated with both doses of Covishield will still need to quarantine in the UK due to an issue over ‘vaccine certification’, even though the country has been added to the ‘amber list’ according to the latest travel rules.
The guidelines provided in the latest advisory suggest that Britain has no problems with the formulation of the Covishield vaccine, but with the vaccine certification provided by India. Notably, India had earlier protested the UK’s non-recognition of the Covishield vaccine and warned of “reciprocal measures” if the “discriminatory policy” was not amended.
There are no issues with the CoWin app or the vaccine certification process, National Health Authority CEO RS Sharma said today. He further added that “There are no issues on CoWin with certification… system is entirely WHO compliant. We continue to have discussions with International Civil Aviation Organization. The UK High Commissioner visited me on September 2. They wanted to understand the system… technical aspects,”.
In its new advisory, the UK said that a traveller will be considered fully vaccinated if they are inoculated with a full dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in select countries. The advisory further said that along with Covishield, other formulations of the four aforementioned vaccines – as AstraZeneca Vaxzevria or Moderna Takeda – shall also qualify as approved vaccines.
The UK’s new rules regarding vaccine certification come into effect on October 4, at which time the ‘amber’ list will be scrapped, and all countries on that list will be regarded as being on the ‘red’ list. And people from ‘red’ list countries – regardless of vaccination status – must go into quarantine.
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