In a brand new faceoff with the European Union (EU) over its vaccine passport issue, the Indian government has reportedly told the EU that it should either accept the two vaccines manufactured in India, Covaxin and Covishield or face mandatory quarantine upon arrival in India.
Sources in the foreign ministry said India will begin a reciprocal policy when it comes to an exemption from quarantine. This would mean that unless the EU accepts Covishield and Covaxin certificates, their certificates will not be accepted in the country. India took issue with the European Union’s plans to institute a “green pass” from July 1, with government sources warning that India will introduce a “reciprocal policy” only allowing ease of travel for those European countries that recognise Indian vaccines Covishield and Covaxin. The EMA has so far cleared four vaccines – Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech), Moderna, Vaxzervria (AstraZeneca), Janssen (Johnson & Johnson). But it notably skipped the Indian manufactured Covishield.
The EU then clarified that European Medicine Agency has not received a request for the approval of Covishield in the COVID-19 ‘vaccination passport’ with the European Union.
On Tuesday, foreign minister S Jaishankar took up the issue of inclusion of Covishield in the Vaccination Passport with a top EU official. “Discussed vaccine production and access. Took up ‘Covishield’ authorization for travel to Europe. Will be following up,” Mr. Jaishankar tweeted.