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EU 'Green Pass' not a pre-condition for travel to the region, clarifies official

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on June 29, 2021

SII needs to submit an approval request for Covishield with European Medicine Agency to be accepted for the Green Pass.

The European Union (EU) has not made the EU Green Pass a pre-condition for travel to the region, and individual member states will have the option to accept also vaccinations that have been authorised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) such as Covishield, official sources in the EU have said.

For being recognised by the European Medicine Agency (EMA) as an approved vaccine for the EU Green Pass, that will be operational from July 1, the Serum Institute of India (SII) needs to put in a request for approval for Covishield that it did not do as of Monday (June 28), the official told BusinessLine.

 

“The EU Digital COVID Certificate (EU Green Pass) is meant to facilitate safe free movement during the Covid-19 pandemic within the EU. It will serve as proof that a person was vaccinated against Covid-19, received a negative test result or recovered from Covid-19. The aim is to facilitate free movement inside the EU. It is not a pre-condition to travel,” the official said.

Individual Member States will also have the option to accept vaccinations that have been authorised by the WHO, such as Covishield, for issuance of Digital Covid Certificates, the official added.

 

Many EU members have imposed temporary restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU from many non-EU countries, including India, due to Covid-19, the official pointed out. “The EU countries shall gradually lift these temporary travel restrictions as the Covid-19 situation develops and it is considered safe to do so,” he said.

On the possibility of extending EMA authorisation to Covishield, the source said that the regulatory body had noted that till June 28, it had not got any request from approval from Pune-based SII that manufacturers the vaccine in India. As the EMA does not investigate new drugs on its own, for being approved, the relevant companies have to approach it at their initiative.

The four vaccines that the EMA has approved by the EMA for the EU Green Pass include Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech), Moderna, Vaxzervria (AstraZeneca), Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).

While the WHO has approved Covishield, efforts are on to get WHO approval for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

Published on June 29, 2021

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