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Why is India's Covishield not on EU's Green Pass eligibility list? | BOOM

The European Union has launched a COVID-19 vaccine initiative, thanks to which recipients of some vaccines can now travel in and out of Europe freely called a EU Digital Green Pass. It includes the AstraZeneca vaccine but the version that is not made/manufactured in India; that version is called Vaxzevria, whereas the Indian version Covishield has been excluded. Is this a slip up by Serum Institute of India and AstraZeneca or discrimination? BOOM Explains.

Virologist Dr Shahid Jameel says that Serum Institute is a contract manufacturer for AstraZeneca. If Serum had no intention of selling these vaccines in the EU,  it would not have any incentive to go and apply by itself for the approval of this drug in the EU. Mostly, the license from AstraZeneca to the Serum Institute does not include Europe as a territory. So Serum does not have a license from AstraZeneca to manufacture this vaccine to sell in the EU & therefore may not have been considered as a necessity to even seek an authorisation.

Murali Neelakantan, Lawyer and Former Global General Counsel at Cipla and Glenmark, says that nobody is picking on India. The Indian facility i.e. Serum Institute of India, was not ever considered, no data was considered, no application was made. You cannot say that somebody has been excluded, if you have not even knocked on the door yet. So, this is not an issue of racism, there is a rule book.

Watch Govindraj Ethiraj chat with Murali Neelakantan and Dr Shahid Jameel on vaccine passports, the impact of Covishield restricts on countries under COVAX and the future of Indians trying to travel to Europe.

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