Covishield is now recognised by 15 European countries for travel 'green pass'
Recognition from the EU will help people avail the EU Digital Covid Certificate or 'Green Pass', with an aim to facilitate free movement during the Covid-19 pandemic
Belgium has become the latest European country to recognise the Covishield vaccine, which was developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and is being produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
Charge d'affaires of Belgium embassy, Arnaud Lion said that recognition of Covishield by his country will have a positive impact for everyone getting the vaccine shot in India and abroad.
"On 7 July, the inter-ministerial conference in Belgium decided to recognize the Covishield vaccination, which will have a positive impact I hope for everyone in India and outside India being vaccinated with Covishield," Lion was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
With this, a total of 15 countries in the EU have confirmed that they will allow travellers from India who have taken the Covishield shots to enter their territory.
This was also pointed out by World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan.
"15 countries in EU now recognise Covishield for travellers," she wrote on Twitter.
Other countries included in the list are -- Switzerland, Iceland, Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Netherland, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Estonia had also confirmed that it will recognise all the vaccines authorised by the Government of India for travel by Indians.
What is its significance?
Recognition from the EU will help people avail the EU Digital Covid Certificate or "Green Pass", with an aim to facilitate free movement during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under this framework, persons who have taken vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be exempted from travel restrictions within the EU region. The document will be mandatory to travel to European countries.
The individual member states have the flexibility to also accept vaccines that have been authorised at the national level or those recognised by the WHO. There are 27 member countries in the EU.
The European Parliament had mandated that all member states must accept vaccination certificates issued in other EU countries for vaccines authorised by the EMA.
Presently, these include those vaccines manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna, Vaxzevria (previously AstraZeneca) and Johnson and Johnson.
India had earlier requested the EU countries to allow Indian travellers who produce a vaccination certificate issued by the Indian government’s CoWIN portal to be exempted from travel restrictions like mandatory quarantine or self-isolation after arriving at their destination.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar last month took up the issue of inclusion of Covishield in the EU digital Covid certificate scheme during a meeting with Josep Borrell Fontelles, the High Representative of the European Union.
The meeting took place on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Italy.
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