Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla assures help to Indians amid reports of Covishield not qualifying for EU ‘Green Pass’

New Delhi: Amid the reports of Covishield recipients facing issues in travelling abroad, the CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII) Adar Poonawalla on Monday (June 28, 2021) assured the people of the nation that the issue is being with at the highest level. 

“I realise that a lot of Indians who have taken COVISHIELD are facing issues with travel to the E.U., I assure everyone, I have taken this up at the highest levels and hope to resolve this matter soon, both with regulators and at a diplomatic level with countries,” Adar Poonawalla tweeted.

The statement comes amid the reports of the European Union’s new concept of Green Pass, which is an immunity document that is meant to ease travel within and to the bloc, is doing rounds in media. 

Currently, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved only four COVID-19 vaccines for the programme and the Covishield vaccine, developed by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), is not on the list. 

Even though Covishield has the WHO’s approval, the ‘Green Pass’ program only accommodates EMA-approved vaccines. The four COVID-19 vaccines approved by EMA are Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech), Moderna, Vaxzervria (AstraZeneca-Oxford), Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).

This latest development comes as a shock to the people because while the India-made COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, has not been recognised by the EMA for the programme yet, the Vaxzevria, which is a version of the AstraZeneca shot and is produced and manufactured in the UK or other sites around Europe, has been approved.

Additionally, the development is worrying as the majority of people in India have received Covishield jabs. However, it is still unknown how much of an impact these certificates can have on Indian citizens who wish to travel abroad. 

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