• Saturday, Jan 22, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

AstraZeneca's India vaccine partner seeking EU travel resolution

  • Published at 08:49 am June 29th, 2021
Viral Kothari, 39, receives his first dose of Covishield, a coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India, at a vaccination centre in Mumbai, India, May 3, 2021 Reuters

A European Union vaccine passport program will allow people to travel freely within the bloc from July 1

Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said on Monday he was trying to resolve EU travel problems facing Indians who have been inoculated with SII's licensed version of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine.

A European Union vaccine passport program will allow people to travel freely within the bloc from July 1, as long as they have had one of four Western-made vaccines.

While this includes the AstraZeneca shot, it does not extend to Covishield, the Indian version produced by SII.

"I have taken this up at the highest levels and hope to resolve this matter soon, both with regulators and at a diplomatic level with countries," Poonawalla said on Twitter.

India's Ministry of External Affairs has raised the issue of Covishield's lack of recognition by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Economic Times reported on Monday.

Some countries, including Germany, Greece and Spain, have already put it in place the "EU Digital Covid Certificate" before it comes into effect.

In addition to the AstraZeneca shot, known as Vaxzevria in the region, the other EU-recognized vaccines are those made by Moderna, Pfizer and BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson.

The EU and the Indian Ministry of External Affairs did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.

The EMA said the only Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca for which a marketing authorization application had been submitted and evaluated, leading to its authorization, was Vaxzevria.

Covishield does not currently have marketing authorization in the EU, even though it may use an analogous production technology to Vaxzevria, the agency said.

"Should we receive a marketing authorization application for Covishield or should any change to the approved manufacturing sites for Vaxzevria be approved, we would communicate about it," the EMA said in a statement.

The European Commission website states that vaccines that have received EU-wide marketing authorization have to be accepted for the certificate, while member states can choose to also accept vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

India is the world's largest maker of vaccines, thanks mainly to SII, and has supplied doses to nearly 100 countries.

Reuters reported in April that the EU was seeking 10 million Covishield doses from SII to meet a shortfall, before India halted all exports amid a domestic infection surge.

Last year, AstraZeneca partnered with SII to supply the vaccine to the Indian Government, as well as to a large number of low and middle-income countries.

Covishield accounts for about 88% of the 322 million doses so far administered in India, the country's CoWIN vaccination registration platform shows.

Many vaccinated with India's Covaxin shot also face travel difficulties, as it has yet to be approved by the WHO.

Apart from the four EU-approved vaccines, the WHO has put Covishield and vaccines from Sinopharm and Sinovac on the list for emergency use.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail