This marks a turnaround as the French Ministry of Health has previously declared that France will not accept the vaccine on the grounds that the European Medicines Authority (EMA) has not given any specific marketing authorization and had not approved the site of the Indian plant to add its vaccine to AstraZeneca’s authorization, although the latter had been requested by AstraZeneca.
Covishield is not listed as having marketing authorization on the EMA website.
Today, in a statement from the Prime Minister’s office, France said it now accepts the vaccine, meaning people who have been vaccinated with this vaccine are considered fully vaccinated under its travel rules. and others.
Covishield is produced by the Serum Institute of India using the same methods as the EU-approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, known as Vaxzevria, and under an agreement with AstraZeneca.
Its effectiveness as a Covid vaccine matches that of Vaxzevria and its safety is no longer in doubt, but it has not yet obtained European approval.
The change was formalized today in a decree which stipulated in article 1, section 2, that previously, France only accepted vaccines authorized by the EMA, it now also accepts those recognized by the French regulator ANSM drugs to have a similar composition and manufacturing process.
What will the accreditation change in France?
Covishield will be accepted for France’s ‘health pass’ – this is the required way to prove Covid-19 status.
This can be done by presenting one of the following certificates:
- A Covid-19 test (rapid antigen or PCR) showing a negative result and carried out within the last 48 hours
- A Covid-19 vaccination certificate indicating full vaccination
- A Covid-19 test (rapid antigen or PCR) showing a positive Covid-19 result, carried out between 11 days and 6 months before
If Covishield is accepted as part of the health pass system, this means that people who have received it will be able to enter France without additional travel restrictions as they are considered “fully vaccinated” and will also be able to use their proof of vaccination to enter public places in France reserved for people with health cards.
Read more: 12 questions on using the French health pass from July 21
Read more: How will foreign visitors to France use the health pass to go to a café?
This affects Canadians and others whose government recognizes Covishield as an accepted vaccine.
Five million doses of the vaccine were delivered to the UK by the Serum Institute of India earlier this year – although the UK Department of Health and Welfare (DHSC) has denied that Covishield was administered in the UK and that his vaccines have not been identified. as such on certificates and the NHS APP, only as AstraZeneca vaccine or its Vaxzevria brand.
The Serum Institute, however, only makes one vaccine, which it typically markets as Covishield. Vaccines sent to the UK can be identified by lot numbers 4120Z001, 4120Z002 and 4120Z003.
France’s change from Covishield will also remove uncertainty as to whether the country could have explicitly started to refuse to accept these lots as valid, as Malta does.
You can read more about using Covishield in the UK here.
Proof of Covid status will be required in France to enter public places of more than 50 people from July 21, subject to parliamentary approval.
France also plans to make the health passport compulsory to enter cafes, restaurants, bars, cinemas, access long-distance transport services, etc., from the beginning of August.