USA to allow travellers vaccinated with Covaxin

From November 8, the United States will allow passengers who have been vaccinated with Covaxin to enter the country.

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Travelers who have been vaccinated with Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin are now allowed to enter the United States. The new rules will take effect on November 8, when the United States plans to open its borders to vaccinated foreign visitors.

The CDC announced this decision after the WHO granted Covaxin, India’s indigenous vaccine, an emergency use listing on Wednesday. Covaxin was not a WHO-licensed vaccine until Wednesday, therefore recipients planning to go overseas were advised to quarantine upon arrival, produce negative RT-PCR test results (at their own expense), or get vaccinated with a vaccine approved in the destination country.

The WHO announced on Twitter that the organization’s Technical Advisory Group has found that the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine fulfils WHO requirements for virus protection.

Travellers completely vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Covishield, Sinopharm, and Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines will be accepted under the new US travel rules.

In January, the vaccine was licenced in India, despite the fact that the third round of clinical studies was still ongoing, causing some alarm and controversy. Bharat Biotech, the vaccine’s manufacturer, has since provided statistics indicating a 78 percent effectiveness rate.

Covaxin’s emergency use listing will allow Indians who have been inoculated with the vaccine to travel to several nations. Many nations have approved Covaxin, including Guyana, Iran, Mauritius, Mexico, Nepal, Paraguay, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, Australia, Oman, Sri Lanka, Estonia, and Greece. Many countries waited for WHO’s clearance before approving Covaxin.

Apart from the importance of the vaccination to Indians who have been vaccinated with it, the WHO recognition is significant for Indian scientists because Covaxin is the first COVID-19 vaccine developed in India.