More artillery in the war on Covid is always welcome. For that reason, we applaud the news that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the Serum Institute of India’s vaccine, ‘Covishield’, will now be part of the family of recognised vaccines in Australia.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Australia’s drug regulatory body, also confirmed that Covishield would be accepted as a recognised vaccine for incoming international travellers who arrive in Australia. In addition, in their assessment of six vaccines, they have given recognised status to Coronavac (Sinovac) too. These assessments confer a recognised status but not regulatory approval yet.
Australian authorities have confirmed that they will be giving clear guidance on how those vaccinated will be able to show their status if they have received one of these vaccines; therefore, assisting Australian nationals and permanent residents arriving home. Government officials within Australia are committed to ensuring returning citizens who have been fully vaccinated abroad can return without unnecessarily erroneous obstacles. However, the TGA has confirmed that due to the absence of sufficient data, they will not recognise BIBP-CorV (Sinopharm), Covaxin (Bharat Biotech), Sputnik V (Gamaleya Institute), and Convidecia (CanSino) at this time. They have left the door open for experts to advance evidence to support the efficacy of these vaccines. Lastly, Indian travellers will need to show a mandatory vaccination certificate upon arrival in Australia. Unfortunately, the required connectivity between Australian and Indian databases is an issue at this time but is being resolved.