Europe’s new vaccine passport programme, known as the Green Pass includes the AstraZeneca vaccine but not India’s Covishield.
The “green pass” is expected to ease travel restrictions for people travelling to EU countries. It has been created to restore freedom of travel for the public and remove the barriers to entry placed due to the pandemic.
This means that those Indians who have taken Covishield Vaccine will not be eligible for a vaccine passport in the European Union in the near future.
The exclusion of Covishield from the European Union’s Vaccine passport programme has left Indian students and the business community worried.
Ambassador of the European Union to India and Bhutan Ugo Astuto on June 29 clarified the reports over the banning of Covishield in European countries.
“It is to clarify there is no banning on Covishield, we have set up in place a new system of Digital COVID Certificate which is meant to facilitate travel within the European Union. Basically, this certificate is proof that a person is vaccinated against COVID or received a negative test or recovered from COVID-19. So this is meant as a facilitator but it is not a precondition for travel,” says Astuto.
Covishield, which is the name given to the Oxford University-AstraZeneca shot in India by their local manufacturers Serum Institute of India , has not been recognised by the European Medicines Agency as, according to the agency, it is yet to receive a request by the Pune-based SII in this regard.
Reportedly, Serum Institute, Pune, which makes Covishield in India with a license from AstraZeneca, didn’t apply to have the vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency.
Serum Institute of India’s CEO Adar Poona Walla took to twitter and said that he has taken this matter at the highest levels and assured to resolve the issue soon.