After much noise, UK approves India's Covishield vaccine but not CoWin certification

Updated on Sep 23, 2021 12:44 AM IST  |  109.3K
   
After much noise, UK approves India's Covishield vaccine but not CoWin certification
After much noise, UK approves India's Covishield vaccine but not CoWin certification
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The UK-India vaccine battle progressed further on Wednesday as the United Kingdom changed its vaccine policy and recognised India's Covishield vaccine. On Tuesday, India in a stern message had warned of 'reciprocal measures' if UK did not recognise AstraZeneca Covishield. 

Now, the updated UK guidelines say, "Formulations of the four listed vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Modern Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines." This means that Covishield is now an approved vaccine in the UK. However, fully-vaccinated Indians arriving in the country will still have to quarantine due to vaccine certification issues. 

As per reports, India is still not on the UK list of countries whose public health bodies have been recognised. The UK High Commission statement on Tuesday said its government is "working with India to expand recognition of vaccine certification." Currently, India features on the amber list and thus travellers are required to undergo quarantine.

CEO Adar Poonawalla's Serum Institute of India who has manufactured India's Covishield, said, "We are delighted that Covishield is recognised as a vaccine equivalent to AstraZeneca on the official gov.uk website.  However, the matter for travel and quarantine is not resolved and all those looking to travel to the UK should carefully follow official entry guidelines," he told NDTV. 

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Tuesday had called out UK's approach to not recognising Covishield and said, "The basic issue is that here is a vaccine, Covishield, which is a licensed product of the UK company, manufactured in India of which we have supplied five million doses to the UK at the request of the government of the UK. We understand that this is being used under the national health system, and, therefore, non-recognition of Covishield is a discriminatory policy and does impact those of our citizens travelling to the UK." 

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