THE EU does not currently accept the Indian-produced AstraZeneca vaccine, called Covidshield, as part of its COVID Passport scheme.
However, 15 european countries, including Spain, have independently authorised the use of the Covidshield vaccine for travel, following WHO guidelines (the WHO recognised the vaccine back in February of this year).
Other than Spain: Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland have all accepted the Indian produced vaccine.
So prospective travellers who received the jab can breathe a sigh of relief.
There is also no evidence to show that the Covidshield vaccine is less effective than the other vaccines accepted by the EU.
While there are no publicised figures on how many people in the UK have had the Indian-produced vaccine, it is widely accepted that 5 million doses were imported earlier this year.
Many people in Africa and Asia have also received the Covidshield vaccine. And allegedly, the officials of the Africa Union Vaccine Delivery Alliance (AUVDC) are troubled by the discovery that the vaccine is not accepted. They believe it creates a ‘two-tiered vaccine system’ and differentiates between the quality of the received vaccine.
Dr Ayoade Alakija, co-chair of the AUVDC believes that this creates a notion that African countries have received a ‘worse’ vaccine, despite Covidshield being no less effective than the rest. And, in her opinion this highlights the exclusivity of the scheme.
The Covidshield vaccines currently not authorised by the EU travel passport are batch numbers: 4120Z001, 4120Z002 and 4120Z003.
Find your batch number on your vaccine letter or on the NHS Covid travel pass.