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EUL vaccines should be recognised by all countries, says WHO chief scientist

EUL vaccines should be recognised by all countries, says WHO chief scientist

New Delhi: World Health Organization Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan said on Tuesday that all countries ought to follow WHO guidelines. In response to the continuing controversy over the new UK COVID travel requirements that prescribed that vaccinated Indians must also go through a 10-day quarantine, Swaminathan said, "All countries are supposed to follow our recommendations. They are not binding".

According to a controversial order issued by the UK government, people who have been vaccinated in countries like the UAE, India, Turkey, Jordan, Thailand, Russia, or on the continents of Africa or South America will be considered unvaccinated upon their arrival and will be subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine.

When asked what the WHO's next step is in this regard, Swaminathan responded that the WHO position is clear: 'all countries should recognize EUL vaccines' she said.

Under the new UK travel rule, only those who have gotten both shots of a double dose vaccine such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna or the single shot Janssen vaccine "under an approved vaccination program in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas" will be counted fully vaccinated. Hence, Indian travellers who have received the Covishield vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) are considered unvaccinated.

Covishield, developed by researchers at the University of Oxford and pharma giant AstraZeneca and Covaxin which was developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research, are the mainstays of India's mass immunisation campaign. Hence, the non-recognition of the Covishield vaccine has harmed many Indians, particularly students,professsionals visiting the United Kingdom.

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TAGS:EUL vaccineschief scientistCovishieldUK travel policy
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