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india version of AZ vaccine

 Poster: A snowHead
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Latest article from Connexion

Questions raised over Covishield, UK vaccination and EU travel

A Covid vaccine made in India in cooperation with AstraZeneca and used in the UK is not the brand ‘Covishield’ which is not approved in the EU, says the UK government. The vaccine maker’s website however says it only exports one vaccine – Covishield

The UK’s Department of Health has told The Connexion it has not used ‘Covishield’, the brand name of an Indian-made Covid vaccine which is not approved by the European Medicines Authority (EMA) - however research indicates that regardless of name it is the same vaccine.

A problem has arisen as ‘Covishield’, made by the Serum Institute of India (or ‘SIIPL’) in cooperation with AstraZeneca using the same technology as its own vaccine (now known as ‘Vaxevria’) is not seen as being the same as AstraZeneca’s Vaxevria by the EMA.

A number of EU countries, including France, state they are not accepting non-EMA-approved vaccines for entry under Covid travel rules. It is also not accepted as part of the EU’s ‘Digital Covid Certificate’ scheme.

In France, this notably affects the chance to visit as a tourist and without an ‘essential reason’ or the need to quarantine.

An EMA spokesman told The Connexion: “The only Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca for which a marketing authorisation application was submitted to and evaluated by EMA, leading to its authorisation in the EU, is Vaxzevria (previously Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca).

“In the EU, the vaccine called Covishield does not currently have a marketing authorisation.”

He added that an official application for authorisation of this product has not been received by the EMA.

The website of the Serum Institute of India indicates that its only Covid-19 vaccine product for export at present is the vaccine it calls Covishield.

This vaccine was approved by the WHO earlier this year as being a version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and the WHO now refers to both of these with the same technical name: ChAdOx1-S [recombinant].

A WHO spokesman told The Connexion: “Covishield is the marketing or brand name SIIPL gave the vaccine. The other is the ‘generic’ name, which basically describes what the vaccine is."

The UK government reported in February this year that approval was being given for the use of the same SIIPL vaccine within the UK after assessment by the UK’s medicines authority MHRA. It said the UK would treat the Indian-made vaccine as being the same as the AstraZeneca vaccine.

It said: “For these purposes, the batch numbers; 4120Z001, 4120Z002, 4120Z003 of the SIIPL Covid‑19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1‑S [recombinant]) manufactured by Serum Institute India Pvt. Ltd were assessed and are treated as COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca (also known as (ChAdOx1‑S [recombinant])”.

UK media sources report that five million doses of SIIPL vaccine were sent to the UK earlier this year.

This has not been confirmed to The Connexion by the UK’s Department of Health or by SIIPL, however a British person recently vaccinated with a second dose of ‘Vaccine AstraZeneca’ in the UK showed us a vaccination cards showing that one of the SIIPL batches was used.

This is despite denials from the UK that ‘Covishield’ has been used to vaccinate people.

A Department for Health spokesman said: “No Covishield vaccines have been administered in the UK.

“All AstraZeneca vaccines given in the UK are the same product and appear on the NHS Covid Pass as Vaxzevria.

“The European Medicines Agency has authorised this vaccine and we’re confident travel will not be affected.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was recently quoted in the UK media in the context of the controversy as having said that he is “very confident” that having had one of the MHRA-approved vaccines will not cause problems for travellers.

It comes as it is reported that Canadians are now concerned that many of them have received the Indian-made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine and may have difficulties entering countries such as France.

Official French sources have so far not confirmed to The Connexion if batch numbers will be checked at the border, so it is unknown if having had a SIIPL jab will pose a problem for people coming to France, as it will not be called ‘Covishield’.

The Connexion has asked if the EMA can confirm explicitly that the vaccine made by SIIPL in cooperation with AstraZeneca is not authorised by itself, whether or not branded as Covishield. We are also seeking to speak to the Serum Institute of India.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thought that looked a bit promising!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20210705-french-expats-vaccinated-abroad-face-headache-of-summer-travel-home

We think we've got problems!

Hopefully it will all get sorted out sooner than otherwise as 2.5 million French expats are affected too Sad
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Snowbikers wrote:
https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20210705-french-expats-vaccinated-abroad-face-headache-of-summer-travel-home

We think we've got problems!

Hopefully it will all get sorted out sooner than otherwise as 2.5 million French expats are affected too Sad


Canada, french speaking sub sahara countries in africa, etc. Have all had doses from india.
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@L0ve2ski, when was that published?
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Timmycb5 wrote:
@L0ve2ski, when was that published?


Today

https://www.connexionfrance.com/French-news/Questions-raised-over-Covishield-UK-vaccination-and-EU-travel?utm_source=Master+List&utm_campaign=125868118c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_07-06&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9b5fbe85b4-125868118c-359668398&mc_cid=125868118c&mc_eid=723b8d6cb0
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@L0ve2ski, thanks. Hope something changes soon.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@L0ve2ski

https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/covishield-left-out-of-eu-travel-list-its-ceo-says-he-will-take-the-issue-to-highest-instances/

Have you seen any more about this behind the paywall in the Connexion?
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Snowbikers wrote:
https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20210705-french-expats-vaccinated-abroad-face-headache-of-summer-travel-home

We think we've got problems!

Hopefully it will all get sorted out sooner than otherwise as 2.5 million French expats are affected too Sad


They can enter France but have to quarantine for 7 days.
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It appears that the UK has recipricated this and raised the stakes. If you have been vacinated in France with any vaccine you will have to quarantine in the UK on arrival. Whereas, if you were vaccinated in the UK and are returning from France you do not need to.
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johnE wrote:
It appears that the UK has recipricated this and raised the stakes. If you have been vacinated in France with any vaccine you will have to quarantine in the UK on arrival. Whereas, if you were vaccinated in the UK and are returning from France you do not need to.


Good grief, that had passed me by. Seems a bit draconian. Schapps had indicated that it will be extended to US and EU nationals soon though.
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Not just France – the UK is not currently recognising any vaccine administered outside its borders, so none of us can currently get in without extensive quarantine and testing Sad
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@Scarlet, according to grant shapps this should be changed in the next coupe of weeks
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@ajc2260626, good, but I'll believe it when I see it. It's generally moot at the moment anyway, as the state of play in the UK means we often have to quarantine on the return.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Mr.Egg wrote:
what about people in North America getting Pfizer or Moderna that is manufactured over there?
How about Hungarians who have been having the sputnik vaccine? Also would have thought UK would have tested the batches in the UK to UK specific guidelines.

Sounds like scaremongering



I believe that AZ VACCINE recipients will not be allowed entry to the US as they have not approved this vaccine. In much the same way as the EU won't automatically recognise a vaccine manufactured outside of its borders. Neither position is without reason IMHO.
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Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

I believe that AZ VACCINE recipients will not be allowed entry to the US as they have not approved this vaccine. In much the same way as the EU won't automatically recognise a vaccine manufactured outside of its borders. Neither position is without reason IMHO.

I believe the EU allows vaccines (and parts of vaccines) manufactured in the UK
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
johnE wrote:
Quote:

I believe that AZ VACCINE recipients will not be allowed entry to the US as they have not approved this vaccine. In much the same way as the EU won't automatically recognise a vaccine manufactured outside of its borders. Neither position is without reason IMHO.

I believe the EU allows vaccines (and parts of vaccines) manufactured in the UK


I believe the UK was in the EU when the vaccine was released?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Snowsartre wrote:
johnE wrote:
Quote:

I believe that AZ VACCINE recipients will not be allowed entry to the US as they have not approved this vaccine. In much the same way as the EU won't automatically recognise a vaccine manufactured outside of its borders. Neither position is without reason IMHO.

I believe the EU allows vaccines (and parts of vaccines) manufactured in the UK


I believe the UK was in the EU when the vaccine was released?
It was in the transition period when the UK health regulator approved the Oxford/AZ vaccine.
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@ajc2260626 I heard the news stories last week too about the covishield batches. It would be good to hear if anyone has travelled and found they are not checking for these batch numbers at the moment as there was reported to be a 6 week implementation period for the fully digital system.

I came to a similar conclusion to you when I found that I had been given (alleged Covishield) batch number 4120Z003 of what my vaccine certificate says is AZ Vaxevria. After extensive searching I could find nothing mentioning these batches rendering my certificate invalid on either the Gov.uk, French government nor DFDS ferry websites, so decided they must not be enforcing it and we booked a ferry for next week.

I then spent a sleepless night worrying about all the possible consequences of trying to travel, the most serious of which would be having a ''refused entry" stamp in my passport when I have a property in the Alps and hope to be able to get a visa for future ski seasons. I rang DFDS next morning and they informed me that I would be refused boarding with "one of the 3 Indian batches" recorded on my certificate.

I wonder how many SnowHeads are affected. I have written to my MP asking for an explanation as to why this is being shrugged off as of no consequence by the Prime Minister and asking what is being done to sort it out. Apparently 5 million people were given this jab.

Perhaps others could bring it to their MP'S attention and hopefully something will be done to sort it out by the winter.
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@Snowbikers, That's very alarming. I have had one of those batches, the 001 one as I remember. I really am wanting to get to France at some point this summer to deal with some things to do with the apartment.
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https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/belgium-recognises-indias-covishield-vaccine/

Hopefully the French will follow suite and end my worries too. I left the apartment in a hurry last time as many others have on here and really need to get out there too.

Another article in there outlines penalty for forging a covid vaccine.
https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/france-tourists-are-now-obliged-to-pay-for-covid-19-tests/
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@skitow, with a property there, doesn’t that give you a valid ‘reason for travel’ regardless of vaccine status?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Boris, you would think so but I was told visiting a second home was no5 considered essential
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I know of someone who travelled to France yesterday morning. They travelled with British Airways from London. Both of her doses was from the Indian batch and she had no problems getting in!
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The issue is back in the news again this morning, though it is people travelling to Malta

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/uk-travellers-indian-made-astrazeneca-vaccine-barred-holidays/amp/
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The official line from the French seems to be they do not accept Covishield, but no specific mention of us with Vaxevria and a Covishield batch number

https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/france-announces-stricter-restrictions-against-non-vaccinated-travellers-from-uk-spain-portugal/
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Hmmm think I need to get Mrs B to pull some strings!
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From the BBC live news feed...

BREAKING
Malta allows entry to UK travellers with all AstraZeneca vaccines
We reported earlier that some visitors to Malta were being barred from boarding flights to the island after receiving doses of AstraZeneca that had been manufactured in India.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps earlier told BBC Breakfast "it is not right and it shouldn't be happening," and said the UK would be taking up the issue with the Maltese authorities.

He's since tweeted that Malta has changed its travel advice so anyone given an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK, regardless of manufacture location, "is able to travel without being turned away".

Let us hope France will be next.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

The issue is back in the news again this morning, though it is people travelling to Malta

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/uk-travellers-indian-made-astrazeneca-vaccine-barred-holidays/amp/

It should be noted that the airline barred them from travelling. Other airlines may not be checking this.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
When the MHRA authorised the AZ vaccine that will include validation of any manufacturing sites proposed together with details of the quality control across them. As long as SII was included then batches from there are approved as Vaxzevria. Just like UK-manufactured batches they will need quality control data for release (and the quality control process will include somewhere along the line inspection of the manufacturing site).

What adds an interesting wrinkle is that one of the few concessions to common sense in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement was mutual recognition of pharmaceutical inspections. Thus the EU has by treaty an agreement to recognise medicine batches released through the MHRA process as being equivalent to those released through the EMA process.

One way and another the world needs a way for recognition of vaccination status. I assume it exists for things like yellow fever and other travel related jabs, which I would expect won't everywhere be all from the same factory. I think one of the issues is the paucity of data on some of the Chinese and Russian products where it isn't clear that their authorisation met similar efficacy, safety and manufacturing standards as the well known vaccines. Most if not all of them though seem to be on the WHO list and while the WHO isn't set up for pharmaceutical regulation one assumes it only lists things that have been subject to appropriate review at least somewhere.
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@Snowbikers, France and the UK in reciprocity, for any properly regulated vaccine.

Lovely that most fully vaxed UK residents can come over hunting for the french variants (usually identifiable by strong garlicky aromas) and not 40tine on return, but I still can't easily visit my family in Scotland (the 40tining would make it tricky, amongst other reasons).
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@under a new name, 40tine....chapeau!
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holidayloverxx wrote:
@under a new name, 40tine....chapeau!


40ine surely?
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@DJL, yes, yes, probably better! Twisted Evil
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holidayloverxx wrote:
@under a new name, 40tine....chapeau!


Had to think about it for a minute. Then the penny dropped.
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@195062, it isn't a coincidence, in the days of (I think) the plague* ships had to wait 40 days anchored offshore before they could berth in port.

[*Might have been Black Death, my history of ancient pandemics is pretty hazy].
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I called British airways today and said I have one of the AZ Indian batches and asked will I be allowed to enter france. (As it’s their responsibility at check in to make sure we are allowed to travel where we have booked) and I was told yes, they have not been informed to be stopping anyone with any particular batches as long as it doesn’t specifically say covishield on the certificate.

Anyone have any info on eurotunnel? I know you have to upload the documents online to the system. Some friends travelled today and said that border control are now not dealing with all the papers (that’s for eurotunnel) and they were more interested in if you had fruit in the car Eh oh!
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j b wrote:
@195062, it isn't a coincidence, in the days of (I think) the plague* ships had to wait 40 days anchored offshore before they could berth in port.

[*Might have been Black Death, my history of ancient pandemics is pretty hazy].


Thank you. Hadn't thought about the etymology before. It's always good to have one's knowledge broadened.
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@195062, every day's a schoolday Happy
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I called P&O Ferries the other day to ask about batch number checks as I have one and was told that they had had an internal memo saying they would only take action if there was something on the French Govt website (which there isn't).

Consequently I've gone through customs at Dover an hour ago and no issue at all. Just a load of scaremongering IMO. Place is dead.

Worth bearing in mind that French customs is the first contact you have at the port so once you've cleared that, there is no logic to the ferry operator stopping you boarding and frankly, it's not their business. P&O Ferry check in was completely normal.

For reference, I had printed copies of the antigen test, sworn statement and vaccination certificate and handed them all over but the Douanes only actually asked for the antigen and vaccination. No other questions regarding length of stay, funds or destination. No checks on the car contents. He did date stamp my passport though!
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