After reports of India hitting back at the European Union with a reciprocal policy emerged, eight European Union countries cleared the Serum Institute of India manufactured Covishield vaccine for their Digital certificate or green pass to facilitate free movement of vaccinated people within the EU.
Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, and Spain – and Switzerland have approved Covishield vaccines for their vaccination passport.
India told European Union on Wednesday that unless the European member states accept Covaxin and Covishield certificates, their certificates will not be accepted in India, and people from the EU will face mandatory quarantine upon arrival in the country.
The European countries are only accepting the Certificates of vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, which include Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Janssen. But Covishield, which is the Indian version of AstraZeneca, is yet to get its clearance for vaccination passports and travel hassle-free amid the pandemic.
Covishield, manufactured in India by the world’s largest manufacture Serum Institute of India, and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is also not on the European Medicines Agency’s list.
Currently, there are two vaccines being used to inoculate people in India, the Bharat Biotech’ Covaxin, and the Oxford-Astrazeneca’s Covishield which has been produced and marketed by Serum Institute of India. Russia’s Sputnik V availability, and other internationally approved vaccines are rumored to be publicly made available as well.
India has requested EU member states to individually consider extending the exemption to Indians who have taken Covishield and Covaxin.
In other India news, the West Bengal government on Wednesday has launched a student credit card scheme to make Bengal’s youth self-reliant.