Which countries have banned the AstraZeneca Covishield Indian vaccine?

Transport secretary Grant Shapps says Malta is now accepting UK holidaymakers who have received the vaccine

UK Covid-19 vaccinations: Latest figures

Millions of British holidaymakers could be shut out of European holidays because some AstraZeneca jabs are not automatically recognised by the EU vaccine passport scheme.

Up to five million doses of the Indian-made vaccine have been administered in the UK, but some countries are refusing travellers with an Indian-made dose.

But what is the Indian AZ or Covishield vaccine, which countries accept it – and how do I know if I’ve received it?

Here’s everything you need to know.

What is the AZ India vaccine?

The UK is among many countries to have approved the so-called Covishield version of the AZ jab, made by the Serum Institute of India. It is chemically identical to the original AZ version.

Up to five million doses have been administered in the UK so far.

Covishield has not yet been authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), however, or the new EU digital Covid certificate vaccine passport scheme, which facilitates travel for EU member states.

The EMA is yet to authorise the vaccine because Indian manufacturers have not sought a licence for its use in Europe.

There is no suggestion at all that the vaccine is substandard.

How do I find out my batch number?

Passengers who are unsure if they have been issued with a Covishield version of the AZ jab can confirm this by checking the batch number of their vaccine.

The three batches of the AZ jab manufactured in India are:

4120Z001

4120Z002

4120Z003

Batch numbers can be viewed by accessing your NHS app (not the Covid app you use to check in to venues) and clicking “Get your NHS Covid Pass”. This can also be used as a “certificate” for travel or “vaccine passport”.

Your vaccine batch number should also have been written or stamped on the vaccine card you were issued with after receiving your first jab.

These are the countries that accept the NHS app as proof of vaccination.

Which countries ban the Covishield Indian AZ jab?

Italy and Croatia have said they will not permit travellers who have received the Covishield Indian AZ jab.

On 14 July, transport secretary Grant Shapps said that the Maltese authorities would now accept all travellers with an AZ vaccine, regardless of manufacture location.

The news comes as some UK holidaymakers were turned away after being told their vaccine was not valid.

The Daily Telegraph spoke to a couple who were preparing to travel to Malta to see their son for the first time in a year, only to be turned back at Manchester Airport at 3.30am on Friday.

Steve Hardy, 63, told the newspaper: “When we took our vaccine – we had a vaccine – we were asked to take them. We took both doses. We didn’t know what we were getting.

“We trusted the government on that. Boris Johnson said that there were no Indian vaccines issued in this country. That’s obviously a lie because it’s on our page.

“The problem is the fact that we can’t see our son. We jumped through the hoops... and then we were hit with this. It was just devastating... what the hell are we supposed to do?”

Which countries have said they will allow travellers who have had the Covishield Indian AZ jab?

Seventeen countries have now confirmed they will accept travellers who have received the Covishield jab.

These include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

What has the government said about the situation?

Boris Johnson said he was “very confident” that the UK’s use of India-produced vaccines would not impact UK holidaymakers at the beginning of July.

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