Poonawalla’s tweet came amid reports that travelers vaccinated with Covishield may not be eligible for the European Union’s ‘green pass’, a document that is meant for easy travel within and to the group of countries.
A healthcare worker administers Covishield, the Serum Institute of India’s version of the AstraZeneca vaccine to a Kashmiri man as people are vaccinated against COVID-19 at a park in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, on Tuesday, May 25. 2021. (AP Photo / Dar Yasin)
Serum Institute of India’s COVID-19 The vaccine has been excluded from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved vaccine list for the European Union (EU) Green Pass. This means that people who have been vaccinated with Covishield may face some problems while traveling to any of the EU countries.
However, it does recognize Vaxzervria, the version of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine that is manufactured in the UK or elsewhere in Europe.
According to a report by The wire, AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is produced by three companies: Serum Institute of India, SK Biosciences in South Korea, and AstraZeneca’s four manufacturing plants. Covishield is the name given to the vaccine manufactured by the Pune-based vaccine manufacturer in India.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has granted emergency approvals to Vaxzevria from AstraZeneca and the corresponding ‘vaccine versions’ from SII and SK Biosciences. SII is also supplying Covishield to the COVAX alliance which is being distributed to third world and poor countries.
The new European ‘vaccine passport’ program, which recognizes some COVID-19 vaccines to allow people to travel in and out of Europe, includes Vaxzervria but not Covishield.
The premise of a ‘vaccine passport ‘ It is simple: it is a digital or paper document that indicates whether people have received a COVID-19 vaccination or, in some cases, recently tested negative for COVID-19 . This could allow them to travel more freely within their communities, enter other countries, or participate in recreational activities that have largely been shut down during the pandemic.
The EU vaccination passport is called a Green Pass. According to MoneyControl. A Green Pass will be available from July 1 and can be used for unrestricted movement in all EU member states for both business and tourism. This pass will show a person’s vaccination history and if they recently tested negative.
EU member states can modify the rules if they wish. Iceland is accepting people who have been inoculated with vaccines that have been approved by both the WHO and the EMA, which will include Covishield. France, on the other hand, has decided to stay and only allow those with EMA-approved vaccines to enter their country.
SII Executive Director Adar Poonawalla acknowledged on Monday that he has addressed the problems faced by Indians who have taken the Covishield vaccine traveling to the EU at the highest levels and hopes to solve them soon.
He tweeted saying: “I have addressed this at the highest level … both with regulators and at the diplomatic level with countries.”
Poonawalla’s tweet arrived in the middle of reports that travelers vaccinated with Covishield may not be eligible for the Green Pass.
I realize that many Indians who have taken COVISHIELD are facing problems with travel to the EU, I assure everyone, I have addressed it at the highest level and I hope to resolve this matter soon, both with the regulators and at the diplomatic level with countries.
– Adar Poonawalla (@adarpoonawalla) June 28, 2021
Veteran actor Soni Razdan retweeted a tweet from journalist Barkha Dutt calling the move “ugly racism.” He asked the WHO to investigate the matter.
– Soni Razdan (@Soni_Razdan) June 27, 2021
The Hindustan Times Citing unidentified sources, he reported that the issue of approval of the vaccine is expected to be addressed on the sidelines of the G20 meeting of foreign and development ministers that will take place in Italy on June 29. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and his team are currently in Italy attending the meeting. India and the EU will attend these meetings.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dealt with this with the EMA, according to some reports.
A. News18 The report indicates that the government will tell the SII to request authorization from the EMA as it did for WHO approval.
“The rule of thumb should be that WHO-approved vaccines should also be considered by the EMA for the ‘Green Pass’ program, or the various European countries under the EU should adopt the same,” said a senior government official. News18.
With PTI inputs