Belgium recognises India’s Covishield vaccine

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He said Covishield is one of the main vaccines, which is and will be used under the COVAX facility…reports Asian Lite News.

Belgium has recognised the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, said the Embassy of Belgium in India on Friday.

“Belgium recognises Covishield, the @AstraZeneca vaccine produced by @SerumInstIndia and distributed by COVAX. An important decision for India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh in the fight against vaccine inequality,” Belgium in India tweeted.

Earlier this week, the Netherlands approved the Covishield vaccine for travellers.

Meanwhile, Switzerland, Iceland and seven EU countries have also allowed the SII-manufactured Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine on July 1, a day after external affairs minister S Jaishankar said he had taken up with the European bloc to accept COVID-19 vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin.

According to sources, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Estonia and Spain have confirmed accepting Covishield for travel entry. Switzerland has also allowed Covishield for the Schengen state.

Estonia has confirmed that it will recognize all the vaccines authorized by the Government of India for the travel of Indians to Estonia, said sources.

India had requested EU member states to individually consider extending exemption to those persons who have taken Covishield and Covaxin and said it will institute a reciprocal policy for recognition of the EU Digital COVID Certificate, according to sources.

‘Positive impact on India’

Charge d’affaires of Belgium Embassy Arnaud Lion on Friday said that recognition of Covishield by his country will have a positive impact for everyone getting the vaccine shot in India and abroad.

“On July 7, the inter-ministerial conference in Belgium decided to recognize the Covishield vaccination, which will have a positive impact I hope for everyone in India and outside India being vaccinated with Covishield,” Lion told ANI.

He said Covishield is one of the main vaccines, which is and will be used under the COVAX facility.

“Covishield will be used not only in India, in neighbouring countries, but also all over the world. COVAX is a facility that is aimed at helping countries to also get vaccinated. So that’s the idea behind the fight against vaccine inequalities,” he said.

“It’s very important that everyone gets vaccine because nowadays everyone travels. So you cannot isolate a country. It is also basically the rationale behind the fact that we have recognized Covishield,” he added.

He said India is in category number 3 under Belgium’s four-category system which means that only essential travel is being permitted.

“I’m very happy to announce that under essential travel, students are considered. Since Monday here in Delhi, we have delivered over 100 long-stay visas. In Mumbai, over 300. Of the long-stay visa, 80 per cent are for students,” Lion said.

He said students who arrive in Belgium need to fulfil 10 days quarantine and go for mandatory testing on day one and day seven.

“People who are coming into Belgium with a recognized vaccine, which is now the case of Covishield, they only have to do testing,” the envoy added. (Sahil Pandey/ANI)

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