India’s Covishield jab is not eligible for a European Union travel pass for vaccinated tourists, reports say.
Covishield is the Indian-made version of AstraZeneca, which is eligible for the EU-wide pass or digital green certificate, set to launch on 1 July.
While the latter has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the former doesn’t appear to be under review currently.
India has so far overwhelmingly administered Covishield jabs.
The vaccine’s manufacturer, Serum Institute of India (SII), has not clarified if they have applied for approval, but the EMA told the Indian news website Wire that they had not done so.
CEO Adar Poonawalla said his company was trying to “resolve the matter” quickly.
Covaxin, an Indian homegrown vaccine, which has not yet received WHO approval, has also not applied for EMA authorisation.
This puts India at a disadvantage given that these two vaccines account for most of the 321 million jabs given so far.
Sputnik V, which is the third vaccine approved for use in India, is on the EMA’s list of vaccines currently under review. But it has not been rolled out yet in India due to supply delays.
At a recent meeting of G7 countries to which India was invited, India’s health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that India was “strongly opposed to a ‘vaccine passport’ at this juncture”.
The UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission recently said that introducing Covid status certificates would be discriminating against some groups saying they could create a “two-tier society whereby only certain groups are able to fully enjoy their rights”.
Many countries have already banned or restricted travellers from India, due to new variants such as Delta Plus, first found here.
Nearly all of the EU, the UK, US, Singapore and Thailand are among the countries that have stopped allowing tourists or non-permanent residents from India. Canada has extended its ban on travellers from India till 21 July. Australia too has suspended all travel from India.