How to find out which AstraZeneca batches are affected as European holidays at risk for millions given Indian-made jab
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It has been reported that up to five million doses of the AstraZeneca jabs administered in the UK currently do not qualify for the EU’s passport scheme as they were manufactured in India.
Holidaymakers may find themselves being turned away at EU borders if the vaccine is not recognised by the EU.
The vaccine version, called Covishield which is produced by the Serum Institute of India has not yet been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which regulates vaccinations in the bloc.
UK tourists who have been given the Indian-made doses would be flagged up at the EU border and could face being denied entry.
Residents in Britain can find out which vaccines are not recognised by checking their batch number which appears on each person’s cards after being vaccinated and on the Covid travel pass on the NHS App.
The EU Digital Covid Certificate is now in operation to allow travel without quarantine, but it would not recognise the Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccines with the batch numbers 4120Z001, 4120Z002 and 4120Z003.
The Department of Health has reportedly not confirmed how many Indian-made AstraZeneca jabs have been administered in the UK.
UK authorities have used the brand name Vaxzevria on all UK medical records where the AstraZeneca vaccine has been used, so the versions of the vaccines are only identifiable by the batch numbers.
A spokesperson for the European Commission told the Daily Telegraph: “Entry into the EU should be allowed to people fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines authorised in the EU.
“Member States are… not required to issue certificates for a vaccine that is not authorised on their territory.”
Currently, the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in the UK or Europe, sold under the brand name Vaxzevria, are the only EMA approved Covid-19 vaccines.
The Indian-made vaccines are currently not allowed by the EMA as no license has yet been sought for them.
India’s foreign minister and the chief executive of the Serum Institute of India has reportedly raised the issue with the EU.