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Don’t vax arrogant

AFPPremium
AFP

While ‘vaccine passports’ are needed for global covid containment, no doubt, the arbitrary rejection by any country of WHO-approved vaccines administered elsewhere is scandalous

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England’s new entry rules that treat would-be visitors from India as “unvaccinated" even if they have received both doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, given here as Covishield, has sparked outrage. Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor withdrew from a Cambridge Union debate and his party colleague Jairam Ramesh went to the extent of saying that it smacked of “racism".

These rules, which go into effect from 4 October, will require those vaccinated here to undergo 10 days of quarantine. It does not matter if we had the same Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, at least in terms of formulation, that millions of Britons had. Nor even the fact that a few batches of its local production by Serum Institute of India were exported for use in Britain. Any vaccine that has World Health Organization (WHO) approval must be held on par for border-crossing purposes and, unless a scientific argument is made for violating this basic principle, London stands exposed to the charge of discrimination. While ‘vaccine passports’ are needed for global covid containment, no doubt, the arbitrary rejection by any country of WHO-approved vaccines administered elsewhere is scandalous.

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