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UK approves Covishield for travel, but casts doubts over India's Covid vaccination certification

Following backlash over its discriminatory guidelines, the United Kingdom on Wednesday revised its travel advisory by adding AstraZeneca Covishield as an approved vaccine. However, it does not mention India in the list of countries with a recognised public healthy body giving certification for vaccination. 

UK approves Covishield for travel but casts doubts over Indian Covid vaccination certification VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Sep 22, 2021, 2:10 PM IST
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Following backlash over its discriminatory guidelines, the United Kingdom on Wednesday revised its travel advisory by adding AstraZeneca Covishield as an approved vaccine. However, it does not mention India in the list of countries with a recognised public healthy body giving certification for vaccination. 

In other words, a person travelling from India despite having taken a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine would still not be considered as fully vaccinated and would have to undergo mandatory quarantine. 

Also Read: 'Thank you Mansukh Mandaviya': WHO thanks health minister for resuming COVID vaccine shipments

The revised travel advisory says that from October 4, an individual will qualify as fully vaccinated if the person is vaccinated with a full course of Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand or Taiwan.

Besides, considering that the advisory states that formulations of the 4 listed vaccines also qualify as approved vaccines, it is surprising why India is excluded from the list.

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India had on Tuesday warned of 'reciprocal measures' if the United Kingdom does not address its concerns over the travel rules relating to Covid-19 vaccine certification. 

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had termed UK's travel norms as discriminatory. 

The latest travel advisory, which raised doubts over India's Covid vaccination certification process, is further expected to strain diplomatic ties between New Delhi and London.

Also Read | India to resume vaccine exports under 'Vaccine Maitri' from October

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