Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday thanked Australian PM Scott Morrison after the Australian government officially recognised Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, for the purpose of establishing a traveller's vaccination status.
"I thank my dear friend for Scott Morrison for Australia’s recognition of India's COVAXIN. It is an important step forward in the post-COVID partnership between India and Australia", PM Modi tweeted.
Australia on Monday recognised India's Covaxin for the purpose of travel to the nation as it eased some restrictions on international travel. After over 18 months of some of the world's most stringent COVID-19 border policies, millions of Aussies are now allowed to travel freely without a permit from authorities or the need to quarantine while arriving in the country.
"Covaxin (manufactured by Bharat Biotech, India) and BBIBP-CorV (manufactured by Sinopharm, China) vaccines would be 'recognised' for the purpose of establishing a traveller's vaccination status. This recognition is for travellers aged 12 and over who have been vaccinated with Covaxin, and those 18 to 60 who have been vaccinated with BBIBP-CorV," a media release from the Australian government read.
"This recognition means many citizens of China and India, as well as other countries in our region where these vaccines have been widely deployed, will now be considered fully vaccinated on entry to Australia. This will have significant impacts on the return of international students, and the travel of skilled and unskilled workers to Australia" It added.
Australia's regulatory authority for therapeutic goods- the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) said that it has gained additional information showing that these vaccines offer protection and potentially decrease the likelihood that an arriving traveller would transmit the infection to others while in the country or fall severely unwell due to the COVID-19 infection.
The regulatory authority had earlier suggested that only the vaccines approved for use in Australia, Covishield from India and Sinovac from China be given the approval for the purposes of travel and other curbs.
Bharat Biotech has been trying to obtain WHO emergency use listing for several months now. The EUL approval is expected to come soon, after the due process has been completed, WHO officials have indicated.
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