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Travellers with Indian-made AZ jab may face European ban

Published on 02/07/21 at 09:33am

Up to 5 million Britons planning to travel to Europe may face a travel ban if they have been vaccinated with the Indian-made AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Currently the EU Digital COVID Certificate, which launched on Thursday, only enables those who have been fully vaccinated with EMA-approved jabs to travel.

The AstraZeneca vaccines made by the Serum Institute of India (SII) are still not current EMA approved, even though it is no less effective than jabs made elsewhere.

Vaccines that are currently approved by the EMA are: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine made in Europe.  

Britons can check whether they had the SII jab by looking at their batch number, which appears on vaccination record cards.

According to the Telegraph, those who were administered the Covishield jab will have the numbers 4120Z001, 4120Z002 or 4120Z003.

The newspaper said the Department of Health has not given a number of how many SII manufactured AstraZeneca jabs have been distributed in the UK but said it believed up to 5 million doses had been imported earlier in the year.

The EU’s coronavirus passport scheme allows citizens living within the bloc, as well as Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein, to show they have been inoculated, have tested negative for COVID or recently recovered, in order to travel freely between different countries without having to quarantine or undergo more tests.

It will be phased in over the next six weeks, allowing travellers to visit green list EU countries.

Kat Jenkins

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