Steve and Glenda Hardy, in their 60s, were turned away from Manchester Airport in the middle of the night as they tried to board a flight to Malta, according to The daily telegraph.
The couple were trying to visit their son, whom they had not seen for over a year.
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Ms Hardy told the newspaper they were “just gutted” when officials told them they couldn’t travel due to the batch of AstraZeneca they had been vaccinated with. According to Ms Hardy, at least three other people were also turned away from the flight.
Mr Shapps said the government would raise the issue with the Maltese authorities.
“It’s not fair and it shouldn’t happen,” he told BBC Breakfast. “The drug agency, MHRA, has been very clear that it doesn’t matter whether the AstraZeneca you own is made here or the Serum Institute in India, it’s absolutely the same product, it offers exactly the same. virus protection levels. “
“So we will certainly speak to our Maltese colleagues to underline all of this. Obviously, that’s what they’re doing. But we will make the scientific point in the strongest possible terms, there is no difference, we do not recognize any difference.
Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Welfare insisted they were “confident that international travel will not be affected” by the Indian-made vaccine and that it was the same product as any other AstraZeneca vaccine.
However, the vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and known as Covishield, has not been approved by the European Medicines Agency and therefore is not accepted by the EU’s vaccine passport program. .
Guidelines from the Malta Tourism Authority state that anyone who has received a dose made in India, from lot numbers 4120Z001, 4120Z002 and 4120Z003, will not be allowed into the country.
Lot numbers can be found on the NHS Covid app. Five million Britons are believed to have received Covishield’s version of the jab, according to The daily telegraph.
Malta is one of the few destinations on the UK government’s green list for travel, meaning those returning from Malta do not have to self-quarantine, making it a popular destination for Britons traveling to abroad.
The Maltese Minister of Health announced last week that all visitors would be banned from entering the country from Wednesday unless they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Earlier this month, 75 British holidaymakers were turned away from an Air Malta flight after attempting to use the NHS Covid-19 app as proof of their vaccination status. The country has repeatedly changed its guidelines on what evidence would be accepted for Britons to enter the country, causing chaos for those who have booked vacations.