India in touch with EU members for reciprocal acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines: MEA

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Indian and EU flags
Indian and EU flags

New Delhi [India], July 2 (ANI): India has said it expects other EU countries to accept made in India COVID-19 vaccines and treat people vaccinated in India at par with those vaccinated in the EU, MEA said on Friday and noted that it is in touch with European Union member states on the issue.

Eight EU countries Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Estonia and Spain have confirmed that they will accept Covishield for travel entry. It is learnt that Switzerland and Netherlands have also given go-ahead to the COVID-19 vaccine being produced by the Serum Institute of India.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at the weekly media briefing that India expects that CoWIN vaccination certificate would be recognized by the EU on a reciprocal basis.

"We understand European Union instituted EU digital COVID certificate for exempting restrictions on the movement of vaccinated people. Our expectation is that Indians vaccinated through our domestic vaccination programme would be treated at par with those vaccinated in the EU and CoWIN vaccination certificate would be recognized by EU on a reciprocal basis," he said.

"As you are aware such CoWIN vaccine certificates can be authenticated on the CoWIN website itself. We are in touch with EU member states in this regard for reciprocal acceptance. I understand the number of EU countries have already taken positive steps in this direction," he added.

A large number of countries in the Caribbean and Africa are also using made in India vaccines

India has ruled out the export of vaccines at the moment, MEA said. The country is right now purposing its domestic vaccination programme that is moving very rapidly

Many European nations are awaiting approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for Covishield.

In an interview with ANI earlier this week, European Union Ambassador to India Ugo Astuto clarified there is no ban in the EU on the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

When asked why "Vaxzervria" vaccine, also developed by AstraZeneca, has been permitted in the EU and not Covishield, he said every approval process must be conducted on its own merit.

"Obviously these are medical sensitivities, medical experts will be better placed to respond. Every approval process of vaccine must be conducted on its own merit. No matter how close the process is, it is because vaccines are biological products so even a tiny difference in manufacturing conditions can result in differences. So each and every product needs to undergo its own scrutiny process," Astuto told ANI.

It is learnt SII has yesterday only applied for approval to EMA for Covishield. (ANI)

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