Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 30
Indian diplomats are working with individual member states of the European Union (EU) to ensure that citizens vaccinated with Covishield and Covaxin do not face problems in entry if and when they open their borders to nations hit by deadly Covid variants.
At the same time, South Block has conveyed to EU Member States that India will institute a reciprocal policy for recognition of the EU Digital Covid Certificate.
If and when Covishield and Covaxin are included in the EU Digital Covid Certificate that comes into effect from July 1, India has offered to reciprocally exempt the concerned EU Member State from mandatory quarantine.
“We have requested EU Member States to individually consider accept the vaccination certificate issued through the CoWIN portal. Their genuineness can be authenticated on the CoWIN portal,” said sources.
Switzerland, Germany, and Iceland are among the EU and non-EU states that have decided to permit entry to Indians vaccinated with the AstraZeneca version made by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
The EU Digital Covid Certificate framework from July 1 will exempt persons vaccinated with vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Individual member states have the flexibility to also accept vaccines that have been authorised at the national level or by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The EU Certificate lists four approved vaccines and does not include India-made Covishield which, however, has been approved by the WHO.
Confirming that Covishield is fully recognised by Germany as valid proof of anti-Covid vaccination, its envoy to India, Walter Lindner pointed out that this does not modify existing travel or visa restrictions for travelers from areas of concern or virus variants areas, one of which is India.
France has also told Indian diplomats that it is actively working to permit entry to Covishield vaccinated persons.
However, Italy has been unable to do much despite External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s presence in Rome this week. This is because it banned the use of Vaxzevria (an AstraZeneca version) for the under-60s after the death of a youngster.
Serum Institute of India needs to apply for the inclusion of Covishield which means an extended process involving site verification.