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France has now approved entry to visitors vaccinated with India-made Covishield vaccine and is now the latest EU member to do so. The news has come in the midst of apprehensions regarding vaccine approval for vaccines made outside Europe; moreover, there has been public outcry that European Union’s COVID-19 certificate only approves Europe-made AstraZeneca vaccines. French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the same on Saturday.
Other than France, the vaccine is already approved by Belgium, Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, Greece, Finland, Hungary, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, and Slovenia. In addition, Iceland and Switzerland have also given a nod to visitors vaccinated with the Covishield vaccine. A number of countries, including Italy, Croatia and Norway have still not approved Covishield.
France’s move to approve the vaccine has come as a surprise since the country is seeing a rise in the number of infections over the past few weeks. Further, there are growing concerns over the Delta variant, which is highly infectious. In a bid to contain the COVID outbreak, the French President announced a number of measures recently, including mandatory usage of COVID health pass for entry to most public places. The French government is also vying to vaccinate all its healthcare workers.
Reportedly, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has predicted a spike in COVID cases by as early as August. As such, all non-essential travel is highly unadvisable currently.