Indians who have received the Covishield vaccine and are travelling to the UK will still face a 10-day quarantine, triggering netizens to trend UKVaccineRacism.
New Delhi: After India warned it would explore reciprocal countermeasures if the United Kingdom failed to recognise Covishield as an approved vaccine against Covid-19 to allow entry for people visiting from Asian nation, the country has changed its policy.
Despite the fact that the UK now recognises Covishield, the vaccine developed by Oxford University in the UK and pharma giant AstraZeneca, and manufactured in India by Serum Institute of India, Indians who are vaccinated with Covishield and travelling to the UK will still be subjected to a 10-day quarantine.
India in amber list of UK while vaccine guidelines change
The Indian version of the Oxford-AZ vaccination is now deemed an authorised vaccine in England, according to new UK government rules for travel to England.
Formulations of the four listed vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria, and Moderna Takeda, now qualify as approved vaccines, according to the guideline, which will take effect on October 4.
However, because India is still on the amber list, persons vaccinated with Covishield in India will not be deemed ‘vaccinated’ by the UK. Only those persons who have been vaccinated via an authorised vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, the United States, or a UK vaccine programme abroad will be deemed fully vaccinated, according to the guideline.
As a result, Indians who have received the Covishield vaccine will not be deemed vaccinated by the UK, and they will be subjected to a 10-day home quarantine after arriving in the UK, as well as Covid-19 testing on the second and eighth day.
This implies that India’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign, as well as vaccine certificates produced through the CoWIN website, are not recognised in the United Kingdom.
Netizens aghast over UK’s rejection of CoWIN certificates
Meanwhile, netizens in India have sharply reacted to the denial of acceptance to CoWIN certificates as a proof of being vaccinated against COVID-19.
A Twitter trend has been started by the netizens in India against what they called UK’s vaccine racism (#UKVaccineRacism).
Zeba Warsi, a journalist while reacting to the UK’s policy, wrote, “What’s that word for the UK’s discriminating policy to not recognise Indian’s Covishield vaccine which is basically UK’s own Oxford-AstraZeneca but manufactured in India? Oh yes, it’s called RACISM.”
“If UK or any other country have a problem with India’s vaccine certificate, it’s because of their own “Tech Inferiority complex”. Our certificates are QR coded- digitally verified, available via Aarogya Setu, CoWin, Whatsapp, DigiLocker amongst others,” Arvind Gupta, another user wrote.
Anand Ranganathan, a writer and columnist, wrote, “700 million Indians have received bonafide computer generated Covishield certificates, what’s their bloody problem? If they don’t recognise our digital certificates, we shouldn’t recognise their handwritten ones, period. Enough of these silly games. WDTT.”
UK didn’t recognize Covishield vaccine earlier
It is pertinent to mention that people from countries like India, South America, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Thailand, Russia and many others were regarded “unvaccinated”, according to a previous UK travel advisory.
Even if they had received two doses of Covishield, a bioequivalent of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine used in the UK, Indians were not recognized as vaccinated against Covid-19.
Covishield’s non-recognition in the UK had caused much outrage and worry in India.