COVID-19 | U.K. includes Covaxin to its list of vaccines

Vaccinated Indians to be exempted of quarantine from November 22

Updated - November 09, 2021 09:58 pm IST

Published - November 09, 2021 06:06 pm IST - New Delhi

Representational image.

Representational image.

Starting with November 22, Indian travellers fully vaccinated with Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin will be able to travel to the UK without the requirement of mandatory self-isolation, British High Commissioner Alex Ellis said on Tuesday. The announcement came soon after Foreign Secretary of the UK Elizabeth Truss said that the UK has “expanded” the list of recognised vaccines for “inbound travel” indicating that Covaxin is part of the revised list.

“From 4 a.m. on Monday, 22 November, the government will recognise vaccines on the World Health Organisation's Emergency Use Listing (WHO EUL) . As a result, Sinovac, Sinopharm Beijing, and Covaxin will be added to our list of approved vaccines for inbound travel, benefiting more fully vaccinated people from countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and India,” announced a travel update from the Government of the United Kingdom. New Delhi had been demanding recognition of India-made vaccines with senior UK officials including Ms Truss who visited India in the third week of October.

Editorial | Keeping the faith: On WHO approval to Covaxin

As a result of the expansion of the list, UK now recognises — Pfizer BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca (including India's Covishield), Moderna and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) and WHO EUL that includes Sinovac, Sinopharm Beijing and Covaxin.

“Passengers who have been fully vaccinated and have received their vaccine certificate from one of over 135 approved countries and territories are not required to take a pre-departure test, day 8 test or self-isolate upon arrival. Instead, passengers will just need to pay for a lateral flow test to take before the end of their second day, post-arrival,” declared the announcement from the Government of the UK.

With the latest move, UK has cleared two of the India-made vaccines — Covishield by the Serum Institute of India and Covaxin.

The move is aimed at simplifying travel rules and as a result, passengers from most (135 countries and territories) of the world will be able to travel to the UK.

The inclusion of Covaxin into the expanded list of vaccines in the UK comes after the WHO added Covaxin in the Emergency Use Listing on November 3 in the backdrop of India-WHO dialogue regarding approval for the vaccine produced by Bharat Biotech. UK’s decision on Covaxin came almost a month after London exempted travellers vaccinated with Covishield from mandatory quarantine. After weeks of medico-diplomatic deadlock, October 11 onwards, the UK exempted Indians fully vaccinated with Covishield of mandatory quarantine on arrival.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech at the G20 summit in Rome had emphasised the need for recognition of Covaxin from the WHO as a prerequisite for India to supply vaccines to the rest of the world. Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandaviya said on Tuesday that 96 countries have “agreed to Mutual Acceptance of Vaccination Certificates” with India.

“Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with the Ministry of External Affairs is in continuous communication with all countries for mutual recognition of vaccine certificates,” stated a press release from the Government of India on Tuesday.

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