Ten Euro countries WILL accept Indian-made AZ vaccines in break from EU scheme giving hopes to millions of Brit tourists
TEN European countries have said they will accept Brits vaccinated with Astra-Zeneca jabs made in India, it’s reported.
Five million Brits faced possibly being blocked from holidays on the continent because the doses aren’t recognised by the EU.
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updatesFive million Brits have received the Covishield version of the AZ vaccine[/caption] Boris Johnson held talks with German leader Angela Merkel at Chequers today[/caption]
The shots aren’t yet authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which regulates vaccinations in the bloc, the Daily Telegraph reports.
It means the EU’s new vaccine passport scheme doesn’t recognise the version of the AZ jab, which is known as Covishield.
But today, eight EU states, plus Iceland and Switzerland, said they would accept the Indian-manufactured vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), the Telegraph reports.
In a boost to sun-seeking Brits, popular destinations Greece and Spain are among the countries that will welcome those who’ve had the jabs.
Brussels’ watchdog has only green-lighted AZ jabs manufactured in the EU and Britain for use on the continent.
It came as a bitter blow to Brits’ holiday hopes – leaving millions potentially turned away at EU border crossings when their batch numbers on their vaccine passports are scanned.
The Indian-made AZ vaccines are identifiable by the numbers – such as 4120Z001 or 4120Z002 – which appear on recipients’ cards after they have been jabbed.
The EU’s Digital Covid Certificate launched yesterday and hopes to allow Europeans to travel freely across the continent without the need for quarantine or rigorous testing on arrival.
Anyone in the bloc who has been double jabbed will be able to cross borders simply by presenting digital proof they have been inoculated.
I see no reason at all why the MHRA-approved vaccines should not be recognised as part of the vaccine passportsBoris Johnson
Speaking before meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I see no reason at all why the MHRA-approved vaccines should not be recognised as part of the vaccine passports.
“I’m very confident that that will not prove to be a problem.”
His remarks came as the boss of the factory where the shots were made said travel warnings over its jabs have been “blown out of proportion”.
Serum Institute chief Adar Poonawalla said he expects its vaccines to be green-lighted for use in Europe this month.Spain is one of the countries that has said it will accept the jabs[/caption] Millions of Brits have received a version of the AstraZeneca jab which is not authorised by the European Medicines Agency (Stock image)[/caption]
Mr Poonwalla said the Serum Institute applied for European authorisation a month ago and that it should soon be granted.
He said: “We are quite confident that in a month the EMA will approve Covishield.
“There is no reason why not to, because it is based on the AstraZeneca data.
“Our product is identical to AstraZeneca more or less and it has been approved by WHO, the UK MHRA.
“So it’s just a matter of time, it is not really going to hinder anything.”
But the EMA said it hadn’t received any such request.
Brussels also played down the prospect of individual EU countries choosing to reject Brits given the Indian-made jab.
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The Commission said capitals had “flexibility” to accept the shot for travel and there was a “certain logic” for doing so.
A spokesman added: “I don’t think you can say it will not be possible to come to the EU with this vaccine.
“We are working with Member States for a coordinated approach as much as possible.”
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