New Delhi: Nine European countries have listed Covishield on the national guidelines for travel amid the COVID crisis, a development that comes even as the European Union Green pass that comes into effect from today for inter bloc travel. The countries which have approved the Covishield vaccine include Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Estonia, Ireland, Spain and Estonia.
Importantly, Estonia has confirmed, sources told a leading news organisation that “will recognize all the vaccines authorized by Government of India for travel of Indians to Estonia.”
That means that both Covishield and Covaxin vaccinated persons are allowed in the country, along with Sputnik and Moderna. Estonia in northern Europe is the first EU member country to list both the India-made vaccines.
Switzerland has allowed Covishield as Schengen state or the common area comprising of 26 European countries that have a common visa policy. Iceland, which is not part of the block but the European Economic Area has also agreed to the Serum Institute of India-made vaccines. Both Switzerland and Iceland are not part of the EU bloc.
The development comes amid a row over the EU green pass or European Union (EU) Digital Covid Certificate that uses the European Medicines Agency (EMA) list of approved vaccines.
EMA commercially authorises vaccines in the bloc and has listed only four vaccines none of which are India-made vaccines. India has reached out to member countries of the European Union, urging to list India-made covid vaccines–Covaxin and Covishield on the national travel lists formed in the backdrop of Covid crisis.
New Delhi has also urged the EU member counties to accept the vaccination certificate issued through India’s CoWIN portal. The CoWIN portal is a digital platform India is using as part of its vaccination drive against the COVID.
As part of a reciprocal win-win situation for all, nationals from all countries which have accepted Indian proposals will be exempted from mandatory quarantine with Indian authorities recognizing the EU green pass.