Covishield, a version of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII), has been left out from the eligibility list for the European Union's 'Green Pass'. The vaccine, however, has already been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Available from July 1 onwards, Green Pass will allow a traveller to move without restrictions in all EU member states for work and tourism purposes. People who have been administered with any of the authorised vaccines by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) would be given the pass.
The EMA has so far approved four vaccines - Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech), Moderna, Vaxzervria (AstraZeneca), Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
Only the Vaxzervia version of the AstraZeneca vaccine - manufactured in the UK and other sites around Europe - is eligible for Green Pass.
The digital "vaccine passport" is valid in all European countries and will serve as proof that an individual has been vaccinated against Covid-19 or has recently tested negative, or has a robust immune response against the virus from earlier infection.
SII CEO Reacts
Meanwhile, India has raised its concern with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in Brussels and the matter has been taken up with the French government by India, Wion reported.
Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawala assured that he has taken up the issue with the higher-ups and would resolve it soon.
"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," Poonawala tweeted.
The Serum Institute of India produced over ten crore doses of its Covishield in June this year. Forty-five batches, amounting to 10.80 crore doses, have been sent to the Central Drugs Laboratory, Kasauli for release so far, The Hindu reported.
The firm's Director at Government and Regulatory Affairs, Prakash Kumar Singh had also said that Covishield production would be ramped up in the future.