Covishield approved in UK, travel advisory revised after strong objections from India

After severe backlash from India, the United Kingdom (UK) administration has decided to make revisions in its travel advisory. As per the revised vaccine policy for travelers in the UK, the Covishield vaccine has been approved for Indian citizens.

In an official release, the UK government has stated that Covishield qualifies as an approved vaccine for all travelers. The statement issued by the government states, “Formulations of the four listed vaccines such as AstraZeneca, Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria, and Moderna Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines.”

The official notice issued by the UK government also states that the person needs to have had a complete course of the approved vaccines mentioned by the administration, at least 14 days before they arrive in England.

News reports suggest that Indians who have been vaccinated with two doses of the Covishield vaccine will still be required to quarantine on arrival. This insinuates that the UK government has doubts over the vaccination certificated in India, as stated by media reports.

A person will allowed to travel to the UK if they are “vaccinated under an approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, USA or UK vaccine programme overseas with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua, and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan.”

In an advisory issued by the UK yesterday, the Covishield vaccine was not included in the list of approved jabs, which received a lot of backlashes. Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla also said that the move was discriminatory and will impact a lot of Indian travelers.

The UK government had further assured the Indian government that this issue will be resolved, said Shringla at a media briefing.

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