It was revealed earlier this month that travellers wishing to enter the European Union would need to undergo quarantine and testing because the Indian-made vaccine had not been registered with European drug authorities.
The Australian vaccine was confirmed to be in the same boat as the Indian-manufactured one, though even both these vaccines have the same make-up as those in the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium. Despite this, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has not approved CSL’s Melbourne facility or India’s Serum Institute of India (SII).
Only those with EU-approved vaccines will be able to get the digital vaccine certificate which allow travellers to move freely among the 27 members of the Schengen Agreement as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) reports that travellers are being turned away because they do not have recognised vaccines.
“The failure of countries to agree on a common list of all approved and recognised vaccines is of huge concern to WTTC, as we know every day travel is curbed, more cash-strapped travel and tourism businesses face even greater strain, pushing ever more to the brink of bankruptcy,” Virginia Messina, senior vice president at the WTTC, said.
“We can avoid this by having a fully recognised list of all the approved vaccines – and vaccine batches – which should be the key to unlocking international travel, not the door to preventing it.
“It will also give holidaymakers and travellers the confidence they need to book trips, flights and cruises; confident in the knowledge that their fully-vaccinated status will be internationally recognised.”
The Times of India has reported that 14 European countries have said they would accept the Indian-made AustraZeneca vaccine. These include France, Belgium, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, and AstraZeneca told 9News that it is working to get more productions sites approved by EMA.