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India Urges EU Members to Exempt Covaxin, Covishield Beneficiaries From Travel Ban; Promises Quid Pro Quo

Image for representation. (Image source: Reuters)

Image for representation. (Image source: Reuters)

Only those inoculated with exempted vaccines will be allowed to travel within the EU during the pandemic.

India on Wednesday formally requested the European Union member states to include both Covishied and Covaxin in their exemption list for the vaccine passport which is likely to come into effect from July 1, even as it made it clear that the failure to do so on their part will force it to implement mandatory quarantine rules for EU citizens.

Only four vaccines — Comirnaty of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Vaxzervria by AstraZeneca-Oxford and, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen — have been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Only those inoculated with these vaccines will be given vaccination passports and allowed to travel within the EU during the pandemic.

“Individual member states have the flexibility to also accept vaccines that have been authorised at the national level or by the World Health Organization," top government sources told CNN-News18.

Urging the member states to accept vaccination certificates issued through the CoWIN portal, Indian authorities said that ‘the genuineness of such vaccination certification can be authenticated through CoWIN’.

“We have also conveyed to the EU member states that India will institute a reciprocal policy for recognition of the EU Digital Covid Certificate. Upon notification of Covishield and Covaxin for inclusion in the EU Digital Covid Certificate and recognition of Indian CoWIN vaccination certificates, Indian health authorities would reciprocally exempt the concerned EU Member State for exemption from mandatory quarantine all those persons carrying EU Digital Covid Certificate," the sources added.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had on Tuesday taken up the issue with Josep Borrell Fontelles, the High Representative of the European Union on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Italy.

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first published:June 30, 2021, 20:05 IST