Nine countries of Europe—eight of them members of European Union–have given recognition to the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India.
The EU Member States that have recognised Covishield as a valid vaccine are Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Austria, Iceland, Ireland and Spain. Estonia is the only country which has confirmed that it will recognise all the vaccines authorised by Government of India for Indians travelling to that country. This obviously means Covaxin, which is otherwise not approved by the World Health Organisation. Switzerland, not an EU member, too has given its nod to Covishield.
The decision came on Thursday (July 1) when the European Union started the “Green Pass” facility which will allow travellers vaccinated with an authorised set of vaccines to travel within the EU zone covering 27 countries. The recognition by the nine countries is a move by individual nations and not by the European Union.
It needs to be mentioned that a day earlier, India had said that it would also reciprocate the gesture and would exempt the citizens of the concerned nations from mandatory quarantine on arrival to India in case they were vaccinated with any anti-COVID-19 shots approved by the health authorities of the respective nations of the European Union.
Thus, it was subtly conveyed to the EU that if any of its member failed to grant exemption from travel restrictions to any visiting Indian vaccinated with Covishield or Covaxin, citizens of that nation would have to undergo quarantine on arrival to India, even if they were vaccinated with vaccines approved by European Medicine Agency.
But the problem is that India has extended the ban on international commercial flights till July 31 and there is little scope of travelling to and from India.