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UK govt: Vaccination certificate must meet 'minimum requirements', working with India on 'phased approach'

It comes after Covishield, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India, was added to an extended UK travel advice on Wednesday.

UK govt Vaccination certificate must meet 'minimum requirements' gcw
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London, First Published Sep 23, 2021, 11:38 AM IST
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The UK government has stated that all nations' COVID-19 vaccination certification must fulfil "minimum requirements" and is collaborating with India on a "phased approach" to its international travel rules. It comes after Covishield, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India, was added to an extended UK travel advice on Wednesday. However, because India's vaccination certification is not on a list of 18 authorised nations, Indian visitors to the UK will continue to be classified as unvaccinated. They will be quarantined for ten days upon the arrival.

Following much confusion over this process, UK government sources said on Wednesday night that additions or changes to the approved country listings are being kept under "regular consideration," but no further clarity on the required criteria for approving a country's vaccine certification was provided. 

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According to a UK government spokesman, as part of their recently extended incoming immunisation policy, Pfizer BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Janssen (J&J) are recognised for foreign travel. This currently includes AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria, and Moderna Takeda formulations. The official went on to say that their first aim is to safeguard public health and resume travel safely and sustainably, which is why vaccination certification from all nations must fulfil the minimal standards taking public health and broader concerns into account. Furthermore, the spokesman stated that they continue to collaborate with foreign partners, particularly India, to implement our staged strategy.

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

From October 4, England's traffic light system of red, amber, and green countries based on COVID-19 danger levels will be formally phased out. Despite the fact that Covishield is now recognised as one of the UK's acceptable vaccine formulations, it would provide no benefit to Covishield-vaccinated Indian travellers considering a trip to the UK. The Indian government has strongly condemned such a move and has threatened "reciprocal actions" if vaccinated Indian travellers are handled in a "discriminatory" manner.

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