EU excludes Covishield from ‘Green Pass’ list

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Meanwhile, SII has begun manufacturing Novavax’s protein-based vaccine Covovax, CEO Adar Poonawalla has said…reports Asian Lite News.

The European Union has not yet approved Covishield, India-made version of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, for the green travel pass that will be available for use from July 1.

That means, travellers vaccinated with Covishield may not be eligible for the vaccine passport that will enable Europeans to move freely for work or tourism.

While the European Union had earlier said that member states should issue the certificates regardless of the type of Covid-19 vaccine, the technical specifications of the ‘Green Pass’ indicate that obligation would be limited to “vaccines that have received EU-wide marketing authorization,” the Hindustan Times reported.

According to the report, at present, four vaccines have been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) that can be used in the EU member states: Comirnaty (Pfizer/BioNTech), Moderna, Vaxzervria (AstraZeneca), Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).

Covishield is manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), has not been approved by the EMA for the European market. The EU green pass will only recognise the Vaxzervria version of the AstraZeneca vaccine that is manufactured in the UK or other sites around Europe, it was reported.

Meanwhile, SII has begun manufacturing Novavax’s protein-based vaccine Covovax, CEO Adar Poonawalla has said.

The company will also begin clinical trials of Novavax for children starting July.

In the recently released Phase -3 trials, Covovax has shown overall 90 per cent efficacy against Covid-19. The US-based trials also demonstrated the two-shot vaccine 100 per cent protection against moderate and severe disease.

“The vaccine has great potential to protect our future generations below the age of 18. Trials are ongoing. Well done team,” he said.

SII’s Phase-2 and 3 clinical trials of Covovax will reportedly be conducted in 920 children — 460 each in 12-17 years and 2-11 years groups, media reports said.

In August 2020, Novavax and SII had announced an agreement under which the US biotechnology company had given SII the licence to manufacture and supply the vaccine in low- and middle-income countries.

In March 2021, CEO Poonawalla said Covovax will be launched by September this year.

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