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Govt may nudge Serum to apply for EMA clearance for Covishield, taking up matter at diplomatic level with European Union

The EMA has so far approved only four vaccines, including the Vaczevria version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, for use in the EU

June 28, 2021 / 07:54 AM IST
The Centre, on May 13, increased the gap between two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to 12-16 weeks from the earlier 6-8 weeks and said that this was based on a recommendation from the COVID-19 Working Group. (Representative Image: AP)

The Centre, on May 13, increased the gap between two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to 12-16 weeks from the earlier 6-8 weeks and said that this was based on a recommendation from the COVID-19 Working Group. (Representative Image: AP)

Government may nudge the Serum Institute of India (SII) to apply for clearance from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for inclusion in the ‘Green Pass’ vaccine passport programme for the entry of Covishield-vaccinated Indians to Europe, and is also taking up the matter at the diplomatic level both with the European Union and individual European countries .

The EMA has so far approved only four vaccines, including the Vaczevria version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, for use in the EU and hence, for the ‘Green Pass’ programme which is to kick in from July 1, allowing people vaccinated with those four vaccines entry into Europe.

SII is yet to apply to EMA for similar authorisation to Covishield as the company did not make any supplies to the EU so far. A senior government official told News18 that the SII may now be nudged to do so and “follow the due process” for EMA authorisation, the same way as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has approved the Indian Covishield vaccine.

Simultaneously, the Indian government through the diplomatic channels is also speaking to the European Union and various European countries on the issue as EMA has given European countries some liberty to allow entry to people jabbed with other vaccines too.