Covishield will get EMA approval in a month, says Adar Poonawala at Indian Global Forum 2021

This comes after reports that travellers vaccinated with Covishield, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine manufactured in India by the SII, may not be eligible for the European Union's 'Green Pass'.

New Delhi: Serum Institute of India is confident of receiving approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for its COVID-19 vaccine Covishield in a month, the company’s CEO Adar Poonawalla informed on Wednesday.

This comes after reports that travellers vaccinated with Covishield, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine manufactured in India by the SII, may not be eligible for the European Union‘s ‘Green Pass‘.

Addressing at India Global Forum 2021, Poonawalla said, “It is not a controversy, it is just that blown out of proportion and the issue of vaccine passports should be on the basis of reciprocity between the countries.”

“The EMA is absolutely correct in asking us to apply, which we have through AstraZeneca, our partners, a month ago, and that process has to take its time. Even the UK MHRA, WHO took its time and we have applied to the EMA,” said Adar Poonawala.

“We are quite confident that in a month EMA will approve Covishield. There is no reason why not to because it is based on AstraZeneca data and our product is identical to AstraZeneca more or less and it has been approved by WHO, UK MHRA. So it’s just a matter of time. It is not really going to hinder anything,” the SII chief said.

He further said, “In March, we were able to produce around 70 million doses and now in the month of June, I am pleased to announce that we are producing 90 million doses a month. Probably will have another 10 per cent to that output in August.”

Europe’s vaccine passport programme, which allowed recipients to travel to and from Europe with fewer roadblocks, may not recognise recipients of the Covishield vaccine.

Covishield is one of the three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in India.

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