The United Kingdom in its revised travel advisory has announced that Serum Institute of India's Covishield qualifies as an approved COVID-19 vaccine
The development comes after India warned of reciprocal action against the United Kingdom over its “discriminatory” advisory treating travellers from India as ‘unvaccinated’ even if they have received two doses of Covishield.
As per the previous Covid-related travel guidelines issued by the UK, only people who have taken shots under the approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, the US, or Britain’s overseas vaccine programme will be considered fully vaccinated.
The vaccines under this programme include those of Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Moderna and Janssen.
However, the UK government's advisory excluded Covishield, which is manufactured in India, and is a version of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
Following the UK government's advisory, foreign secretary Harsh V Shringla said that India had raised concern on the "discriminatory nature" of the vaccine recognition in UK.
"Have raised the discriminatory nature of UK vaccine recognition for AstraZeneca but not Covishield. Discussions on, but if they do not satisfy us, we would be well within our rights to take reciprocal action," foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla was quoted by Times of India as saying.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also raised the issue in a meeting with his UK counterpart Liz Truss on Tuesday (21 September).