Covishield (AstraZeneca/by Serum Institute of India) is a recognized vaccine in Australia
On Friday, October 1, the Australian National Cabinet met and noted the Commonwealth’s updated progress to adjust border settings to allow for safe and secure international travel by fully vaccinated Australians citizens and permanent residents.
And there is particularly good news for Indian Australians. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (the TGA) has provided advice to the Australian government that India’s Covishield (AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India) vaccine be considered ‘recognised vaccines’ for incoming international travellers to be regarded as appropriately vaccinated.
That would simply mean that people who are fully vaccinated in India, will now qualify to travel to Australia without requiring the permit/exemption provided they meet other prerequisites put in place by the government.
The TGA has also recommended Coronavac (Sinovac) vaccine of China to be included in the list of recognised vaccines.
With Covishield and Coronavac vaccines, Australia now has six recognised vaccines. The other four already approved for use in Australia – Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
This advice follows detailed assessments by the TGA to determine the protection against infection and serious illness offered by vaccines not registered for use in Australia.
Recognition of these vaccines (Covishield (India)and Coronavac (China)) supports Australians to be able to return who have had these vaccinations overseas, and will enable reopening to other groups such as international students who have been vaccinated with these vaccines in countries such as Indonesia, India and China.
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The Commonwealth will introduce an International COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate for outbound travellers to present at foreign borders and at the Australian border. This certificate has been designed to meet the new standards specified by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and endorsed by the World Health Organization.
The international certificate will display a Visible Digital Seal (VDS), as specified by the ICAO standard. A VDS is a QR code that’s as secure as a passport chip, using the same highly secure e-passport technology. VDS is compatible with existing passport control systems around the world and with COVID-19 travel apps such as the IATA Travel Pass that many airlines are using.
The new international certificates will become available for Australians by the end of October, both digitally and in printable form, through a simple process in myGov.
Quarantining of arriving Australians
It is tipped that the state governments will have a greater say in the mode and facilities where those arriving in Australia will be expected to stay during the quarantine period. The federal government is reportedly discussing 7-day home quarantine with states and territories. The Commonwealth has outlined its offer of assistance to source and coordinate suitable cohorts of returning Australians for a home quarantine trial.