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COVID-19 | France relaxes travel norms for students and researchers from India

Apart from permitting fully vaccinated travellers, France would allow unvaccinated visitors from India only if they have a "compelling reason" to visit the country.

August 02, 2021 / 04:03 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

Travel restrictions have been eased by France for travellers from India, including students and researchers, reports citing a French embassy official said on August 2.

Since July 23, India has been put on 'amber' list, which includes countries whose residents are permitted to enter France if they have been fully vaccinated, Times of India reported Michele Ferrari, press counsellor at the French Embassy in Delhi, as saying.

Vaccinated residents of the amber list countries, however, would be allowed to visit France only if they have been inoculated with the vaccines approved by the European Commission or the French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products.

The list of eligible vaccines include Covishield - the Indian version of AstraZeneca vaccine - which has been used to immunise the majority of the beneficiaries in the country.

Other authorised vaccines include those manufactured by US-based pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Moderna. Both the vaccines are yet to be imported in India. The country's drug regulator on June 29 granted emergency use nod for the Moderna jabs.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Also Read | Steps India can take to boost travel and tourism

Apart from permitting fully vaccinated travellers, France would allow unvaccinated visitors from India only if they have a "compelling reason" to visit the country.

Notably, the French government has classified students, researchers and Talent passport holders under the category of 'compelling reason', the Times of India report said.

For vaccinated travellers, an attestation is required confirming that they are not suffering from any of the COVID-19 symptoms and were not in contact with any infected patient over the past few days.

For unvaccinated travellers, a negative RT-PCR test report is mandatory before boarding the flight. The test must be conducted 72 hours before the date of departure. In case of a rapid antigen test, the negative report should not have been issued more than 48 hours before the date of departure.

For both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers, an RT-PCR or antigen test would be conducted upon arrival in France. The visitors would be required to self-isolate for next seven days, and undergo another test upon completion of the isolation period.

Irrespective of the vaccination status, the traveller would be put under institutional quarantine if detected with COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival in France.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Aug 2, 2021 04:03 pm

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