There have been claims that up to five million Britons could be excluded from vacations in the European Union because their vaccines are not recognized by the bloc’s passport system.
But the UK government has insisted it is “confident” travel will not be affected as “no Covishield jabs have been administered in the UK”.
The claims relate to doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India – known as Covishield.
Although it is identical to other doses of AstraZeneca, it has not been authorized by the European regulator and is therefore not recognized by the EU, according to a report.
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Britons who believe they have received vaccines from the Indian-made lots have expressed confusion and disappointment, and said they should have been made aware of the situation before being vaccinated.
Kerry Capps told the Mirror that she felt “totally frustrated and disappointed” with this issue.
She said: “I am so disappointed with the government because it expects the nation to trust it. I think the government should have brought it up itself and addressed it to the public before anyone got the dose of the three batches that were made in India.
“Now, because I unfortunately received one of the vaccines from this batch, I am currently not able to obtain the EU vaccine certificate to allow me to travel to EU countries that currently allow people who have this new certificate.
“I firmly believe that the UK government should have acted more responsibly and waited until the vaccine made in India was covered by the EU certificate.
“When I received my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in March, I thought the vaccine I was receiving would allow me to travel to countries that allow people to enter with both doses. “
She added: “I have a vacation booked for February next year in Fuerteventura and now I’m wondering if by then I will be eligible to get the new vaccine certificate. “
Judi Rudd told the Mirror: “I had a jab from a batch made in India, my first. The second did not come from batches made in India.
“I wonder how this will affect people who want to go on vacation to countries that do not accept Indian lots.
“I haven’t booked a vacation but with even more confusion it means that I would definitely hesitate to book a vacation now, it doesn’t help the travel industry, this has been in the country news. not accepting the Indian batch but nothing mentioning the implications for people who have had an Indian batch jab. “
She added that “as usual nothing is clear”.
Sadia Nawaz told the Mirror that she was worried because she was relying on a “vaccine passport”.
“I am absolutely terrified of what this means,” she said.
“How can the government play with the lives of 5 million people without going through tough regulations? “
Another reader said: “The reason I got the vaccine in the first place was purely for vacation travel and now I see that I can be turned down because of it.
“I would not have been vaccinated other than for this reason, so find out that I have been vaccinated for no reason now because I will be denied access to the EU. “
A mother expressed disappointment at claims that batches made in India did not have the same clearance as those made in the UK. She called it “worrying”.
“If it’s the same product, which I think they are, they should be recognized as such.
“I should have been told on my first jab that it had actually not been approved. I should have had the choice to take it or not.
“Me, my husband and my two children have a vacation booked in Spain for August.
“We are crossing and stopping over in France for two nights to get there and back, but now it looks like even though I’m being doubly pounded my family and I can’t go.
“France says it won’t recognize this blow, but Spain will. “
A British government spokesperson has denied claims that Covishield vaccines have been given to Britons.
The spokesperson said: ‘This is completely untrue – no Covishield vaccine has been given in the UK.
“All AstraZeneca vaccines administered in the UK are the same product and appear on the NHS Covid Pass as Vaxzevria.
“The European Medicines Agency has cleared this vaccine and we are confident that travel will not be affected.
“All doses used in the UK have undergone rigorous safety and quality controls, including individual lot testing and physical site inspections, by the drug regulatory body, the MHRA.
“The EU Covid-19 digital certificate is currently only available to EU citizens or third country nationals staying or legally residing in the EU.
“Ensuring safe and open travel with our global partners is a clear priority and we are committing the European Commission to certification. “
The EU is rolling out a Covid digital certificate so travelers can prove their vaccination status to exempt them from quarantine when crossing an international border.
EU Covid digital certificate, now operational to allow travel without quarantine, reportedly not recognizing AstraZeneca lot numbers made in India 4120Z001 , 4120Z002 and 4120Z003 which are rated on the NHS app.
Reports say 10 countries have now confirmed that they will accept people who have received the batches of vaccine made in India.
The countries are eight EU states, including Greece and Spain, as well as Iceland and Switzerland, reports The Telegraph.
Austria, Germany, Slovenia and Ireland are among the others, Al Jazeera adds.