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Allow persons vaccinated with Covishield/Covaxin to travel to Europe, India urges individual EU nations

Individual member states have the flexibility to also accept vaccines that have been authorized at the national level or by the World Health Organization.

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New Delhi: India has urged EU member countries to individually consider allowing persons who have taken Covid-19 vaccines such as Covishield and Covaxin in India to travel to the 27 EU nations.

It has requested individual EU countries to accept the vaccination certificate issued through the CoWIN portal, saying that the genuineness of such vaccination certification can be authenticated on the portal.

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Sources in the government said they have noted the European Union Digital Covid Certificate framework, to facilitate free movement during the Covid pandemic, is to come into effect from 1 July 2021. Under this framework, persons vaccinated with vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency will be exempted from travel restrictions within the EU.

Individual member states have the flexibility to also accept vaccines that have been authorized at the national level or by the World Health Organization.

“We have requested EU Member States to individually consider extending similar exemption to those persons who have taken Covid-19 vaccines in India i.e. Covishield and Covaxin, and accept the vaccination certificate issued through the CoWIN portal. The genuineness of such vaccination certification can be authenticated on the CoWIN portal,” said the sources.

The sources also said that India will institute a reciprocal policy for recognition of the EU Digital Covid Certificate, and this has been conveyed to the EU member nations.

“Upon notification of Covishield and Covaxin for inclusion in the EU Digital Covid Certificate and recognition of Indian CoWIN vaccination certificates, Indian health authorities would reciprocally exempt the concerned EU Member State for exemption from mandatory quarantine all those persons carrying EU Digital Covid Certificate,” the sources said.

On Tuesday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said he has raised the issue with the High Representative for the EU on foreign policy Josep Borrell Fontelles.

“Took up Covishield authorisation for travel tovEurope. Will be following up,” he said in a tweet.

The EU’s vaccine passport programme, called Green Pass, has approved only four vaccines — Vaxzevria (Oxford Astrazeneca), Comirnaty (Pfzizer-BioNTech), Spikevax (Moderna) and Janssen (Johnson&Johnson).

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