What are AstraZeneca vaccine batch numbers and how can I check them?
MILLIONS of people have been left concerned they could be blocked from travelling into the EU due to their AstraZeneca vaccine.
While the Government has denied claims the EU will not accept doses of a specific batch, people are scrambling to find out if they’ll be affected.
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updatesYou can find out the batch number of your vaccine on the card you received at your appointment[/caption]
The EU does not recognise a version of the AZ jab called Covishield produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
The shots are yet to be authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) which regulates vaccinations in the bloc, the Daily Telegraph.
It means that five million Brits who got one of these doses could be excluded from the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate, which launched last week.
However, the Prime Minister said he is “confident” the problem will be solved, as another expert described it as an “administrative” glitch.
All of the AstraZeneca doses are exactly the same, regardless of where they were made.
Here is how to find out what batch yours is part of.
What is the batch number?
There are three batches of the AstraZeneca vaccine that were produced by the Serum Institute of India, encompassing around five million doses.
The jabs are known as “Covishield” rather than the UK-made version known and sold as “Vaxzevria”.
But the vials will contain the exact same vaccine created and trialled by Oxford University.
The numbers of the batches not approved by the European Union and made in India are 4120Z001, 4120Z002 and 4120Z003.
How to find out you AstraZeneca batch number
The vaccination card given to you the day you received your jab will have the batch number written on it.
Underneath the “Name of vaccine” box will be the “Batch no”.
Another way to find out is by using the NHS App, being used in England as a way to certify your vaccination status, called an NHS COVID Pass.The back of your card will show the “Batch No”[/caption]
Log into the app and go to “Get your NHS Covid Pass” and click through to your records to find out what your batch number is.
Find out how to get the NHS App, and the NHS Covid Pass, by clicking here.
Will my AstraZeneca dose be accepted by the EU?
Currently the EMA does not recognise the doses made in India because it was not put forward for approval.
In effect, this means the regulator will not accept a vaccination status from someone given a jab from that batch.
The EU Digital COVID Certificate will not recognise Covishield.
However, the PM Boris Johnson has played down concerns, saying on July 2 that he is “very confident” that the issue will be resolved.
Following talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mr Johnson said vaccines approved by the UK’s medicine regulator the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) should be recognised internationally.
He told a joint press conference: “I see no reason at all why the MHRA-approved vaccines should not be recognised as part of the vaccine passports, and I am very confident that that will not prove to be a problem.”
Downing Street has said the MHRA has shared its assessment of the vaccines with the EMA to assist the approvals process.
A No 10 spokesman said: “They’re the same product which has been authorised and checked for safety and quality by our MHRA.
“They’ve shared their inspection report with the EMA.”
Professor Adam Finn, from the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said the problem was “an administrative hurdle”.
“People should not be concerned that they are in some way less well protected,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“We’re in the early days of this new world of needed vaccine passports and there are lots of aspects of this that are still being sorted out for the first time.
“But it’s clearly, ultimately, not in anyone’s interest, including the European Union, to create hurdles that don’t need to be there.”
A UK Government spokesman said all AstraZeneca vaccines given in the UK “are the same product” and appear on the NHS App as Vaxzevria.
Meanwhile, a European Commission spokesman said some EU nations could also allow entry for people vaccinated with jabs on the World Health Organisation’s emergency list.
“This is the case for Covishield, which is not authorised for placing on the market in the EU,” he added.
How can I enter the EU?
The EU is rolling out a Digital Covid Certificate, which became active on July 1.
It will be recognised by all 27 countries as well as Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
People who have been vaccinated, tested negative from Covid or recovered from the disease will be able to prove so with a QR code on either a device or printed off.
The certificate can prove travellers’ vaccination status in order to exempt them from quarantining when crossing an international border.
Britain is in talks with Brussels about easing travel restrictions between the UK and the Continent, discussions which EU sources described as going in the right direction.
They said it is not yet clear whether the UK will use the NHS app or another one in order to display vaccination status.
But a UK Government spokesman said the app will be “a key service” as international travel is reopened.
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The NHS COVID Pass is already being accepted by individual countries including Spain and Greece.
It is also a QR code – similar to those you use when entering into a pub, bar or restaurant.
You can get one if you had a second vaccine dose at least two weeks ago, were vaccinated in England, and are over 16.
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