Australia gives recognition to Covaxin in major relief to Indian travellers

Canberra/New Delhi, Australia on Monday gave recognition to Covaxin, developed by India’s Bharat Biotech, in a major relief to Indian travellers.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration of the Ministry of Health of the Australian government, in a statement said that “Covaxin (manufactured by Bharat Biotech, India)” “would be ‘recognised’ for the purpose of establishing a traveller’s vaccination status”.

It has also given recognition to BBIBP-CorV (manufactured by Sinopharm, China).

“The recognition is for travellers aged 12 and over who have been vaccinated with Covaxin, and those 18 to 60 who have been vaccinated with BBIBP-CorV,” it said.

It said that the TGA has in recent weeks “obtained additional information demonstrating these vaccines provide protection and potentially reduce the likelihood that an incoming traveller would transmit COVID-19 infection to others while in Australia or become acutely unwell due to COVID-19. “

It said the “supporting information has been provided to the TGA from the vaccine sponsor and/or the World Health Organisation.”

The WHO has yet to give Emergency use Authorisation to Covaxin.

The TGA also said that “recognition of Covaxin, and BBIBP-CorV, along with the previously announced recognition of Coronavac (manufactured by Sinovac, China) and Covishield (manufactured by AstraZeneca, India), 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.”

The development will facilitate the return of international students to Australia, and the travel of skilled and unskilled workers to Australia. 

It said that “those who have received two doses of a TGA-approved or recognised vaccine at least 14 days apart are regarded as fully vaccinated from 7 days after the second dose (with the exception of Janssen vaccine, where they are regarded as fully vaccinated 7 days after the single dose). This includes homologous (two doses of the same vaccine) and heterologous (two doses of two different TGA-approved or recognised vaccines) schedules.”

(EW Correspondent)