UK refuses to recognize AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine despite using the same in their own country, India hints at reciprocal measures

Image Credit: The Ministry of External Affairs

Foreign Secretary of India Harsh Vardhan Shringla criticized UK’s approach on vaccines and its new policy on vaccines in a press conference. He expressed concern over the recent measures taken by the UK government on Covishield and its non-recognition in the UK which would impact Indian citizens travelling to the UK.

He said, “The non-recognition of Covishield is a discriminating policy and impacts our citizens travelling to the UK. The External Affairs Minister has raised the issue strongly with the new UK foreign secretary.”

Secretary Shringla said that India found the non-recognition of the Covishield vaccine as discriminatory and indicated that reciprocal measures might have to be taken. He also mentioned that Covishield is a licensed product of UK government, manufactured in India and that 5 million vaccines were also given to govt of UK.

“I am told that the External Affairs Minister has been given the assurance that the issue will be resolved… the minister said that this issue should be resolved as soon as possible,” Shringla said.

According to reports, the United Kingdom put forward new vaccine rules which would view all vaccinated Indians as ‘unvaccinated’. The step also requires Indians regardless of their vaccination status to undergo mandatory screenings upon arrival.

Suneela Garg, Member Lancet Commission, of the COVID India task force said on the matter, “The COVISHIELD has been approved by WHO and if anyone, be it a person from Europe or India faces a problem even after getting vaccinated, then this issue should be discussed at the highest level by the government of India. This is a vaccine diplomacy issue.”

OpIndia Staff: Staff reporter at OpIndia