Following the increasing pressure from India, Britain finally approved the Covishield vaccine, a Covid-19 vaccine that is indigenously manufactured in India. The UK has issued new travel guidelines and has reversed its decision. Against the backdrop of India’s displeasure, Britain took this decision.
Those who have taken both doses of India’s Covishield vaccine now will be permitted to the UK. However, the UK government has not approved the Covishield vaccine certificate. So, the question is what to show as proof of vaccination, however, there are signs that the old quarantine guidelines have to be followed as the certificate is not approved even after giving authorization.
Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar had raised up the issue of non-approval of the Covishield vaccine by Britain. It was a discriminatory policy of not allowing the Covidshield vaccine said the foreign minister. Britain finally permitted India’s Covshield vaccine and has promised to resolve the matter soon.
According to UK officials, Covishield has been included on the UK’s revised list of approved vaccines after a furious India warned of “reciprocal measures”, but double-vaccinated Indians still have to quarantine because of “vaccination certification issues.”
A top health official told NDTV on reacting to the new sticking point, there are “no issues” with the Indian vaccine certificate.
UK’s updated travel guidelines say, “Formulations of the four listed vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Modern Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines.” The site explains that from 4 am on October 4, those who have taken vaccines from a “relevant public health body” in specific countries will be considered “fully vaccinated”. India is not included in this list.
COVID19 | In its revised travel advisory, the UK government says Covishield qualifies as an approved vaccine pic.twitter.com/B5R52cDu6v
— ANI (@ANI) September 22, 2021
It suggests that Indians who are vaccinated with two doses of Covishield, produced by Serum Institute of India (SII), will still need to quarantine even though India is now on the Amber list.
Officials have implied that the matter isn’t Covishield but doubts over-vaccination certification in India.
According to a British High Commission statement yesterday, its government is “working with India to expand the recognition of vaccine certification.”
Certification in India is a centralised national system managed through the CoWin app and portal.
RS Sharma, the CEO of the National Health Authority, told NDTV there are “no issues” on CoWin with Covid certification.
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“The system is entirely WHO (World Health Organisation) compliant. We still have discussions with the International Civil Aviation Organisation also. The UK diplomat visited me on September 2. They wanted to know the CoWin system, the technical aspects. A resource has been allocated to them for this purpose and two further conversations have happened with their team. These were technical-level conversations,” Dr Sharma said.
Serum Institute’s Adar Poonawalla, expressing “delight” at Covishield being recognised, noted that the matter for Indians travelling to the united kingdom was still not resolved.