The changes announced by the United Kingdom, adding India's Covaxin to the list of approved Covid-19 vaccines for international travellers, will come into effect from November 22. This means that thousands of travellers from India, who have been inoculated with the Bharat Biotech-manufactured jab, will not have to self-isolate after arrival in Britain, reported Hindusthan Times.
The UK government has also added China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm in its list of approved vaccines, benefiting fully vaccinated people from the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia too. Around one billion doses of these three Covid-19 vaccines have been delivered worldwide.
The changes were announced earlier this month, after the World Health Organization (WHO) cleared their “emergency-use listing”.
The WHO issued an emergency-use listing for Covaxin on November 3.
The UK began recognising Covishield, the Indian version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, for inbound travel from October 4.
It also began accepting India’s vaccine certificates from October 11, ending a travel row that had resulted in UK nationals facing mandatory 10-day quarantine on arrival even if they were fully vaccinated.
Covishield and Covaxin are the two main vaccines being used for India's immunisation programme. The country has also approved Russia-made Sputnik and Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine.
Last week, government officials said that as many as 110 countries have given recognition to Covaxin and Covishield, according to news agency ANI. Among these countries are New Zealand and Australia.
Covaxin and Covishield were the first two jabs to receive emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for the nationwide inoculation drive, which commenced on January 16. The former has been developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited, and is the first made-in-India anti-Covid shot. The latter is the Indian variant of Britain's AstraZeneca vaccine, and manufactured locally by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII).