SII CEO Adar Poonawalla says has taken Covishield-EU issue up at highest level
Adar Poonawalla said he had "taken this up at the highest levels" and that he hoped the matter would be resolved soon.
New Delhi: Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla tweeted Monday to reassure Covishield-vaccinated Indians facing issues with travel to the European Union - in light of the EU's new 'vaccine passport' scheme "Green Pass" not recognising the India-made version of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine.
"I realise that a lot of Indians who have taken COVISHIELD are facing issues with travel to the E.U., I assure everyone, I have taken this up at the highest levels and hope to resolve this matter soon, both with regulators and at a diplomatic level with countries," Adar Poonawalla tweeted.
Green Pass, which bloc countries can start issuing and using it already will become available in all member states from July, is for an unrestricted movement to those travelling for business and tourism purposes. The pass would be granted to those who have been inoculated with any of the vaccines that have been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
However, according to sources, the "digital passport" scheme is only for intra-EU travel and not for people travelling from abroad, since that is still happening on an "essential travel" basis.
Vaxzevria, the same AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in the United Kingdom (UK) and Europe, has been authorised by the EMA. Thus, recipients of the European version of AstraZeneca vaccine will be able to apply for the 'Green Pass'.
Covishield has been recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) for global use. However, the EMA, which is responsible for the evaluation and supervision of medicinal products in EU countries, has given authorisation to just four vaccines so far.
It has not, however, approved the version produced by the Serum Institute, which is sold in India as Covishield.
Comirnaty of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Vaxzervria by AstraZeneca-Oxford and Johnson & Johnson's Janssen are the four.
Starting July 1 the European Union plans to introduce a 'digital Covid certificate' to "facilitate safe (and) free movement of citizens in the EU during the pandemic". The 'certificate' is meant as proof the holder is either vaccinated, holds a negative test result or has recovered from an infection.
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