Germany hops in, other EU states told to OK India vaccine

Germany was the first to get on board, with its Ambassador to India Walter J Lindner confirming recognition to Covishield.
Image for representation
Image for representation

NEW DELHI:  With the European Union’s Digital Covid Certificate or Green Pass coming into effect from July 1, India on Wednesday urged all member states to individually grant exemption to those who have taken Indian vaccines.

Germany was the first to get on board, with its Ambassador to India Walter J Lindner confirming recognition to Covishield. “Confirming that a double shot of Covishield is fully recognized by GER as valid proof of anti-COVID vaccination (this does nevertheless not modify existing travel or visa restrictions for travelers from areas of concern/virus variants areas),” he tweeted. 

Sources said it has also been conveyed to EU member states that India will institute a reciprocal policy for recognition of the Green Pass. “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 from mandatory quarantine of all those carrying the EU Digital Covid Certificate,” they said.

“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,” sources said.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), the EU’s regulatory body, had approved four vaccine products manufactured by Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and at AstraZeneca’s Europe plant and allowed people who have taken either of those jabs to travel within the bloc for tourist and business purposes. The Serum Institute of India’s Covishield was not on the list though it is manufacturing AstraZeneca’s vaccine under licence.

However, the EMA gave its member states the freedom to amend the rule and allow entry of persons who had not taken any of the four vaccines. The matter figured in the talks External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU, on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Italy. 

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