UK Government adds Covishield to approved vaccines list in updated travel advisory after India’s protest

The decision by the UK Government follows the widespread condemnation of the Serum Institute of India (SII) manufactured COVID-19 vaccine not being included in a list of eligible vaccines recognized under the UK’s reviewed international norms which will come in effect from October 4, 2021.

Created On: Sep 22, 2021 15:53 IST
UK approves Covishield
UK approves Covishield

The Government of the United Kingdom on September 22, 2021, added Covishield to its updated international travel advisory, meaning those vaccinated with Covishield will qualify as fully vaccinated from October 4, 2021. Covishield is the Indian-manufactured Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The decision by the UK Government follows the widespread condemnation of the Serum Institute of India (SII) manufactured COVID-19 vaccine not being included in a list of eligible vaccines recognized under the UK’s reviewed international norms which will come in effect from October 4, 2021.

The advisory from the UK’s Department for Transport and Department of Health and Social Care read, formulations of the 4 listed vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria, and Moderna Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines.

UK approves Covishield: What it means?

•   The inclusion of Covishield in the UK’s updated advisory for international travel will mean that the Indians who are fully vaccinated with Covishield will no longer be required to undergo the compulsory 10-day self-quarantine at home or the declared location on entry to England.

•   The people traveling from India to the UK must have had completed the course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before the arrival to England.

•   The updated guidelines also mean that a pre-departure PCR test will no longer be required as long as the vaccinated travelers pre-book a day two test post-arrival in England and complete the passenger locator form in advance.

•   From October 4, 2021, when the updated guidelines will be applicable, the current traffic light system of red, green, and amber based on the levels of Coronavirus risk will be scrapped and replaced with one red list only.

Why India was protesting UK on its travelling guidelines?

The UK’s refusal of recognizing the Covishield vaccine had triggered a firestorm protest in India. Covishield, the Indian-made version of the AstraZeneca Vaccine, is India’s most widely used vaccine. In July 2021, even UK had received over 4 million doses of Covishield from India.

Recently, when the UK Government announced new travel guidelines which will come into effect from October 4, 2021, it mentioned that the travellers from a number of countries arriving in England were not required to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated.

However, the list did not include Indians, which meant that even those who are vaccinated with two doses will be considered as ‘non-vaccinated' and will have to self-isolate.

The External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and various other prominent leaders called the move discriminatory and racist. Jaishankar also took up the matter strongly with his UK counterpart Liz Truss had warned of the ‘reciprocal measures’.

Covishield by Serum Institute of India

The Serum Institute of India is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer and has made the Covishield jab under the license from AstraZeneca.

SII has also supplied millions of doses to the countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America under the deals signed with various governments around the world and as part of the global COVAX Scheme for the poorer countries.

Source: PTI News

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