LONDON: It is an instance of British hypocrisy. After the Indian government warned of ‘reciprocal steps’ and the Indian diaspora raised a hue and cry, the UK has revised its travel advisory which now says Covishield is an approved vaccine. But, here comes the sting, double-vaccinated Indians still need to quarantine because of "vaccination certification issues".
UK is thereby suggesting that the problem is not Covishield but doubts over vaccine certification in India. Responding to the new sticking point, a top Indian health official told a TV channel there is no issue with the vaccine certificate. Certification after Covid jabs is a centralised national system managed through the CoWin app and portal. The system is also entirely WHO (World Health Organisation) compliant, it is pointed out.
Serum Institute's Adar Poonawalla, expressing "delight" at Covishield being recognised, noted that the matter for Indians travelling to the UK was still not resolved.
The updated UK travel guidelines say, "Formulations of the four listed vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Modern Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines." The site explains that from 4 am, October 4, those who have taken vaccines from a "relevant public health body" in specific countries will be considered "fully vaccinated". That list does not include India.
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