Covishield is now eligible for travel to Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Ireland and Spain. Iceland and Switzerland too have made the jab eligible for travel to the countries, sources said.
The exclusion of Covishield, which is produced by India’s Serum Institute using methods analogous to the EU-approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine Vaxzevria but does not have EU market authorisation, stoked anger and the threat of retaliatory measures by India against travellers from Europe.
The pass will help do away with the need for quarantines or further testing for travellers between the EU’s 27 countries and four associated European nations – Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
India has so far overwhelmingly administered Covishield jabs – they account for more than 290 million of the 350 or so million vaccinations given so far.
A source in India’s external affairs ministry earlier said India had requested EU states to individually consider extending the exemption to people who had taken Covid-19 vaccines in India – Covishield and Covaxin – and “accept the vaccination certificate” issued by the government.