No issues with India’s Covid vaccine certification: UK envoy

High Commissioner Alex Ellis holds talks with National Health Authority CEO R S Sharma, calls it a step forward towards facilitating travel
A beneficiary being administered Covid-19 vaccine at a centre in New Delhi. (Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)
A beneficiary being administered Covid-19 vaccine at a centre in New Delhi. (Photo | Parveen Negi, EPS)

NEW DELHI:  British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis said on Thursday that the UK had no issues with the country’s certification process. After a meeting with National Health Authority’s CEO RS Sharma, Ellis tweeted, “Excellent technical discussions with Dr RS Sharma@AyushmanNHA. Neither side raised technical concerns with each other’s certification process. An important step forward in our joint aim to facilitate travel and fully protect public health of UK and India.”

The envoy’s comments come a day after the UK added India-manufactured Covishield to its list of approved vaccines for travellers but said that it had some concerns over the vaccination certificates issues by the NHA-run CoWin application.  

Responding to the envoy’s tweet, Sharma said recognition of vaccine certificates would be instrumental in resuming socio-economic activities between the UK and India. “We also look forward to deepening ties between NHA and NHS, as we collaborate to build a digital continuum of healthcare services,” he tweeted.
Ellis had on Wednesday said that discussions were being held with the developers of the CoWin app and NHS app regarding certification of the Covid vaccine. “We have been having detailed technical discussions regarding certification, with the builders of the CoWIN app and the NHS app. They’re happening at a rapid pace, to ensure that both countries mutually recognise the vaccine certificates issued by each other,” he had said.

Following confusion, UK government officials said that additions or changes to the approved country listings are being kept under “regular consideration”, but there was no further clarity on the required criteria for approving a country’s vaccine certification. Travellers vaccinated in India are currently not on the UK government’s recognised list and are mandated to take a pre-departure test and self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival in UK.

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The New Indian Express