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Thursday, September 16, 2021

If You’ve Been Jabbed with Chinese, Russian, Indian Vaccines, You May Be Unable to Enter a Majority of EU Countries

Not yet anyway.

By Paul John Caña   |  Esquire Philippines, 17 June 2021

IMAGE SHUTTERSTOCK

Only four vaccines against the coronavirus have been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) so far. The EMA is the agency responsible for the evaluation and supervision of medicinal products in the bloc. The four vaccines are: 

1| Comirnaty (BioNTech, Pfizer)

2| COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna

3| Vaxzevria (previously COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca)

4| COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)

According to the website SchengenVisaInfo, four other vaccines are currently under review, but have not been approved yet. These are:

1| CVnCoV (CureVac)

2| NVX-CoV2373 (Novavax)

3| Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac)

4| COVID-19 Vaccine (Vero Cell) Inactivated (Sinovac)

Individual countries in the EU are free to accept certificates from travelers as proof of being vaccinated before they are allowed inside their respective countries. However, a majority of the member states belonging to the EU and Schengen areas have already announced that they don’t intend to accept vaccines that have not yet been approved by the EMA. 

That means that if you’ve already been jabbed with Chinese-made vaccines in the country (Sinovac or Sinopharm), you might want to hold back on those travel plans to Europe.

On June 14, officials of the European Union officially signed the regulation governing travel to the EU in the pandemic era. It essentially provides for the use of a universal document that would make it possible for travelers to move within the member nations.

“The EU Certificate will again enable citizens to enjoy this most tangible and cherished of EU rights—the right to free movement,” the presidents of the three main EU institutions—the Parliament, the Council, and the Commission—said during the signing ceremony. “Signed into law today, it will enable us to travel more safely this summer. Today we reaffirm together that an open Europe prevails.”

This EU COVID-19 vaccination passport will serve as evidence of the holder being fully vaccinated with the EMA-approved vaccines (Moderna, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Janssen), has recovered from the disease, or has tested negative for the virus in the last 48 hours.

EU or Schengen member-states that have made it clear that they intend to accept only EMA-approved vaccines include Iceland, France, and Lithuania.

Some countries in the bloc, however, are more open to other vaccines, including Greece, which said it will accept Russia’s Sputnik V, and Slovenia, which has approved Sputnik V and China vaccines Sinopharm and Sinovac. 

Hungary, accepts Sputnik V, Chinese Sinopharm, as well as Covishield from India and Convidecia from China.

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