Bharat Biotech's Suchitra Ella says vaccines shouldn't be a barrier to enter any nation if approved by national regulatory authorities

covishield, india, astrazeneca, suchitra ella, vaccinations

Vaccines should not become a barrier to enter any nation, Suchitra Ella, Joint managing director, Bharat Biotech said on Tuesday as the UK declared that fully vaccinated Indians travelling to the UK will be treated as unvaccinated.

She said those vaccines which are approved and licensed by the national regulatory authorities should not be restricted by other countries to ban entry of travellers.

“Our vaccines will prove yet again that they are world class,” Ella tweeted. Adding that India has supplied billions of doses world over.

“India has crossed 800 million doses, which is no small achievement,” she added.

India has not been able to make it in the list of countries whose vaccinations will be accepted in the UK from next month. The UK has said it will not recognise those traveling from India which are being fully vaccinated, even those with Covishield, developed by Oxford University and pharma major

AstraZeneca

and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.

Calling UK government’s decision to not recognise Covishield as a legitimate anti-Covid vaccine “discriminatory” foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said this move impacts Indian citizens.

“The non-recogition of Covishield is a discriminating policy and impacts our citizens travelling to the UK. The External Affairs Minister has raised the issue strongly with the new UK foreign secretary. I am told that certain assurances have been given that this issue will be resolved,” Shringla said at a press conference on Tuesday.

As reported by ET earlier in July, AstraZeneca had not applied for a full marketing authorisation to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for Covishield but a variation to the existing license.

Serum Institute of India’s CEO, Adar Poonawalla had earlier on July 13 informed that the company had applied for the EMA approval in the end of May through AstraZeneca. He had hoped to get an approval in less than a month.

However, on August 23, EMA told ET that there was no futher uodate to what they shared earlier in July.

“As noted then, the only Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca for which a marketing authorisation application was submitted to and evaluated by EMA, leading to its authorisation in the EU, is Vaxzevria. For the Covid-19 vaccine Covishield to be evaluated for use in the EU, the developer would have to submit a marketing authorisation application to EMA, which to date has not been received,” the spokesperson said.

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