UK includes Covaxin in its approved list; What it means to travelers from India and other nations you can travel with Bharat Biotech’s vaccine jab.
After the United States and several other countries, the United Kingdom government has given its nod to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin to be included in its list of approved Covid vaccines for international travelers. This news comes more than a month after Covishield, jointly developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and manufactured by India’s Serum Institute was added to the list and WHO’s approval of Covaxin last week. The changes for the new travel advisory in the UK come into effect at 4 am on November 22.
Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, took to Twitter on Monday to announce the ‘good news that Indian travelers to the UK immolated with both the doses of Covaxin no longer has to self-isolate.
British Foreign Secretary Lizz Truss also announced that the UK’s list of recognized vaccines for inbound travel has been expanded to welcome millions more from across, including more of those vaccinated in the US, India, Canada. Moreover, China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac have also been added to its approved Covid vaccine list for inbound travelers.
Countries that approve of Covaxin and allow direct travel
The United States lifted its Covid-19 travel restrictions after 20 months and is approving all FDA and WHO-approved vaccines for inbound travelers from November 8.
Apart from the US and UK, other countries like Oman, Nepal, Paraguay, Switzerland
. Guyana, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Estonia Iran allows entry of travelers from India will complete Covid-19 vaccination either with Covishield or Covaxin. Some countries like Iran, Zimbabwe, however, required a negative RT-PCR report along with a vaccination certificate for travelers to skip self-quarantine.
Countries like Australia, Greece, Mauritius, Mexico, Philippines approved of Covaxin but do not have a direct air-bubble pact with India that allows direct flight. Hence passengers have to take alternative routes to travel.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has reached out to a number of countries to secure approval for the vaccine. MEA is also holding discussions with counterparts with other countries over Covaxin approval.
What Covaxin’s approval in the UK means to travelers from India
Travelers from India no longer have to self-quarantine themselves. Whether it is the Indian students who need to join the fall academic session in European countries, or job aspirants who need to travel to the UK, or a travel blogger looking forward to exploring the post-pandemic Europe, all travel plans will no longer be in limbo.
If you have had a complete course of one of the approved vaccines at least 14 days before you arrive in England, you are allowed entry without self-isolation. However, the day you have your final dose does not count as one of the 14 days, the UK government travel guidance manual says.
Those who have had COVID-19 and have only had one dose of a 2 dose vaccine must follow the rules for unvaccinated arrivals.
Meanwhile, all under-18s came to England. They will now be treated as fully vaccinated at the border and will be exempt from self-isolation requirements on arrival, day-8 testing, and pre-departure testing
Moreover, the emergency listing of Bharat biotech’s vaccine also means it can be shipped to countries that rely on WHI guidance for regulatory decisions. Countries can also now expedite their regulatory approval process to import Covaxin and administer its doses to their population. Global bodies like United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) can also procure the Covaxin doses for distribution to countries that need it.