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Australia ‘recognises’ Covaxin for travellers entering country

Last Monday, WHO had said it was expecting “one additional piece of information” from Bharat Biotech on Covaxin, which is being examined by WHO’s experts for grant of EUL.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: November 2, 2021 5:12:52 am
Covaxin, UK approves Covaxin, Covaxin travel, world news, Indian expressThe changes will come into effect at 4 am on November 22. (File)

AUSTRALIA’S REGULATOR, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), said on Monday that India’s Covaxin would be “recognised for the purpose of establishing a traveller’s vaccination status”.

The decision came on a day that the country reopened its border for the first time in nearly 20 months.

Australia has already recognised Covishield.

“Today, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) determined that Covaxin (manufactured by Bharat Biotech, India) and BBIBP-CorV (manufactured by Sinopharm, China) vaccines would be ‘recognised’ for the purpose of establishing a traveller’s vaccination status,” the TGA said.

“This recognition is for travellers aged 12 and over who have been vaccinated with Covaxin, and those 18 to 60 who have been vaccinated with BBIBP-CorV,” it said.

“Importantly, recognition of Covaxin and BBIBP-CorV, along with the previously announced recognition of Coronavac (manufactured by Sinovac, China) and Covishield (manufactured by AstraZeneca, India), means many citizens of China and India as well as other countries in our region where these vaccines have been widely deployed will now be considered fully vaccinated on entry to Australia,” it said. “This will have significant impacts for the return of international students, and travel of skilled and unskilled workers to Australia,” it said.

The TGA said it took the decision after obtaining “additional information” demonstrating that these two vaccines “provide protection and potentially reduce the likelihood that an incoming traveller would transmit Covid-19 infection to others while in Australia or become acutely unwell due to Covid-19… The supporting information has been provided to the TGA from the vaccine sponsor and/or the World Health Organisation,” it said.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison for the decision. “I thank my dear friend @ScottMorrisonMP for Australia’s recognition of India’s Covaxin. It is an important step forward in the post-Covid partnership between India and Australia,” he said.

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(With PTI inputs)

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