Vaccine taken should not put individual at disadvantage, says Estonia Ambassador

·4-min read
Katrin Kivi, Estonian Envoy to India (Photo/ANI)
Katrin Kivi, Estonian Envoy to India (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], July 2 (ANI): People often cannot choose what vaccine they get and a vaccine should not put a person at disadvantage if it is approved and is in use, Estonia Ambassador to India Katrin Kivi said on Friday.

The ambassador told ANI in an interview that Estonia has decided vaccination certificate issued by the Indian government is recognized by its authorities.

"This means that if a person who has been fully vaccinated with either Covishield or Covaxin wants to prove that to Estonian Border Guard, they can do it and the authorities accept this certificate," Kivi said.

Both Covishield and Covaxin are 'Made in India' vaccines. Covishield is manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin has been developed in the country and is manufactured by Bharat Biotech.

Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Estonia, Spain and Switzerland have said they will accept Covishield for travel entry. Estonia said it will recognize all the vaccines authorized by the Indian government for the travel of Indians.

"The vaccine a person has got should not put them in a disadvantaged position if the vaccine is approved and in use. Often people cannot choose which vaccine to get but it is better to be vaccinated especially as new strains of the disease are emerging. The least it (the vaccine) can do is to avoid severe cases and excessive hospitalization but, of course, the vaccine gives a certain level of immunity that prevents infection," Katrin Kivi told ANI.

According to the envoy, Estonia's decision means that people with a valid visa can at the moment travel to the country "if they are fully vaccinated and can prove it with the Indian Government-issued vaccination certificate".

"However, we are issuing very limited categories of tourist visas at the Embassy at the moment due to the pandemic," she added.

Kivi also said that India and Estonia are working together in the United Nations Security Council and India will be opening an embassy in Tallinn.

"We are very happy about the state of our bilateral relations. India announced on December 30, 2020, that it will open its Embassy in Tallinn. This is a big step as it enhances bilateral relations even more and also brings India closer to the Indian community we have in Estonia. Considering our small population, we have a good number of Indians studying or working in Estonia. Education in Estonia is on a very high level and our growing tech companies like Wise, Starship Technologies, Bolt and others are recruiting people also from India," she said.

The Ambassador said that 2021 is a significant year as the two countries celebrate 30 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

"We working together with India in the United Nations Security Council, and the opening of the Indian Embassy in Tallinn is also scheduled for 2021," she said.

Kivi said there is also growing business interest from both countries as well as cultural cooperation. "Yoga is very popular in Estonia," she noted.

Referring to EU Green Pass, the Estonian envoy said it is not a travel document as such or a prerequisite to enter the member states.

She said European countries have their national rules regarding the handling of the pandemic and the green pass is just one way for people to prove that they are vaccinated.

"The green pass is not a travel document as such or a prerequisite to enter the member states. European countries have their national rules regarding the handling of the pandemic. The green pass is just one way for people to prove that they are vaccinated. What are the situations when one needs to prove the fact of vaccination can be different in different member states and also other proofs could be accepted to prove the fact in different member states," she said.

The Ambassador said that the European digital COVID certificate is a great tool that the member states have decided to use and it helps to restore the free movement of people in the EU which is one of the fundamental rights of the EU that got seriously impacted by the pandemic as member countries were forced to adopt measures on their borders to stop the infection from spreading. (ANI)

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