People who receive any of the Covid-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) will be allowed to enter Europe, the European Union Delegation to Malaysia noted on Wednesday (July 7).
This statement was issued as a clarification following reports that the EU Digital COVID-19 Vaccination Passport was being issued only to people who received the approved vaccines by the EU (Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Janssen).
For ease of travel, a digital passport or a vaccine passport is being issued, though this is not a mandatory document to travel to the EU.
Fully vaccinated people, including those vaccinated with vaccines that haven’t yet been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), are allowed into the EU, which have passed WHO’s Emergency Use Listing process.
The EU Delegation to Malaysia was also clearing up issues concerning vaccines following reports quoting the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as only authorising AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in specific countries, including among the bloc’s member states, for the digital certificate.
“There is no obstacle or hurdle. Therefore, some recent reporting concerning the AstraZeneca vaccines’ origins is inaccurate,” a statement read.
Apart from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Janssen and Moderna, the World Health Organisation has approved for emergency use the AstraZeneca/CoviShield, AstraZeneca/AZD1222 (manufactured by the SII and SK Bio), Siopharm, by Beijing Bio-Institute and Sinovac.
However, the EMA report noted that the approval does not cover AstraZeneca vaccines made by South Korea’s SK Bioscience or Thailand’s Siam Bioscience. These vaccines are currently being administered to Malaysians after arriving from the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility and direct orders.
Although the 27 member states of the EU have agreed on common guidelines for travel from third countries, national restrictions set by each state vary from the epidemiological situation of the country of origin.
It was announced that CoviShield, AstraZeneca Vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), are facing uncertainty as this vaccine has been approved by WHO but not EMA, and the majority of EU member states accept only EMA authorised vaccines.
Adar Poonawalla, SII’s CEO, recently said that this issue has been taken to higher instances, and the incident will be solved soon. According to him, EMA should approve the vaccine, which is being administered to 44 countries worldwide.