COVID-19: Australia Recognizes Covaxin for Indian Travellers

The Australian government on Monday has decided to recognize Covaxin for travellers, India-based Bharat Biotech’s vaccine against COVID-19.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia said that both Covaxin and BBIBP-CorV, manufactured at China’s Sinopharm would be recognized for the purpose of establishing a traveller’s vaccination status.

However, Covaxin is currently awaiting the World Health Organization’s emergency use authorization.

The recognition of Covaxin by Australia came a month after the TGA gave its nod to Covishield.

Australia’s move is set to benefit Indian students and professionals waiting to visit Australia or return to the country.

The TGA said that this will have a significant impact for the return of international students and travel of skilled and unskilled workers to Australia adding that Covaxin’s recognition will apply to travellers aged 12 and above who have taken the jab.

The Australian body said it has information collected in recent weeks that show Covaxin provides protection against Covid-19 and potentially reduces the “likelihood that an incoming traveller would transmit Covid-19 infection to others while in Australia or become acutely unwell due to” the disease.

The TGA said, “Recognition of Covaxin and BBIBP-CorV, along with the previously announced recognition of Coronavac (manufactured by Sinovac, China) and Covishield, means many citizens of China and India as well as other countries in our region where these vaccines have been widely deployed will now be considered fully vaccinated on entry to Australia.”

Australian officials had earlier said that foreign students, including Indians, will be able to start returning towards the end of this year and the beginning of 2022, ahead of the start of the first semester in February-March.

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