Nine European countries have given recognition to the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India. The confirmation came on Thursday when the European Union started the “Green Pass” facility which will allow travellers vaccinated with an authorized set of vaccines to travel within the EU zone covering 27 countries.
The countries which have approved the Covishield vaccine include Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Estonia, Ireland, Spain and Estonia.
Estonia in northern Europe is the first EU member country to list both the India-made vaccines and has confirmed that it will recognize all the vaccines authorized by Government of India for travel of Indians to Estonia. It means that both Covishield and Covaxin vaccinated persons are allowed in the country, along with Sputnik and Moderna.
Switzerland has allowed Covishield as a Schengen state or the common area comprising 26 European countries that have a common visa policy. Iceland, which is not part of the block but is in the European Economic Area has also agreed to the Serum Institute of India-made vaccine. Both Switzerland and Iceland are not part of the EU block.
Ambassador Walter J. Lindner said that the Covishield is recognized by Germany as valid proof of anti-COVID vaccination. “Confirming that a double shot of Covishield is fully recognized by Germany as valid proof of anti-COVID vaccination,” he mentioned. However, Germany has a travel ban in place for Indians as India has been recognized as a ‘virus variant country.’ “This (confirmation) does nevertheless not modify existing travel or visa restrictions for travellers from areas of concern/ virus variant areas,” said Mr. Lindner clarifying the German position on travel from India.
EMA commercially authorizes vaccines in the block and has listed only four vaccines none of which are India-made vaccines. India has reached out to member countries of the European Union, urging to list India-made covid vaccines- Covaxin and Covishield on the national travel lists formed in the backdrop of Covid crisis.
New Delhi has also urged the EU member counties to accept the vaccination certificate issued through India’s CoWIN portal. The CoWIN portal is a digital platform India is using as part of its vaccination drive against the COVID.
Nationals from all countries which have accepted Indian proposals will be exempted from mandatory quarantine with Indian authorities recognizing the EU green pass.