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Australia adds Covaxin to list of ‘recognized’ COVID-19 vaccines

Canberra [Australia] : Australian government on Monday gave recognition to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin COVID-19 vaccine for the purpose of establishing a traveler’s vaccination status in the country.

“Today, the Therapeutic Goods Administration determined that Covaxin (manufactured by BharatBiotech) vaccine would be ‘recognized’ for the purpose of establishing a traveler’s vaccination status,” Australia’s High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell informed in a tweet.

“Importantly, recognition of Covaxin, along with the previously announced recognition of Covishield (manufactured by AstraZeneca India, means many citizens, as well as other countries, will now be considered fully vaccinated on entry to Australia,” the High Commissioner added in the tweet.

COVID-19 vaccines are approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) after an assessment and approval process.

“In recent weeks, the TGA has obtained additional information demonstrating these vaccines provide protection and potentially reduce the likelihood that an incoming traveller would transmit COVID-19 infection to others while in Australia or become acutely unwell due to COVID-19,” a statement from Australia’s Department of Health informed.

Recognition of Covaxin, along with the previously announced recognition of Covishield (manufactured by AstraZeneca, India), means many citizens of India, as well as other countries where these vaccines have been widely deployed, will now be considered fully vaccinated on entry to Australia, the statement said.

“This will have significant impacts for the return of international students, and travel of skilled and unskilled workers to Australia,” the statement added.

From 1 November 2021, vaccinated Australians and permanent residents aged 12 and over may depart Australia without the need to seek a travel exemption, the Australian Health Department said.

The UN health body — World Health Organisation — has sought additional clarifications from Bharat Biotech, which manufactures Covaxin and a decision on emergency use authorization is expected early next month.