The Director of the African Centre for Disease Control, Dr John Nkengasong, and the African Union Special Envoy on COVID-19, Mr Strive Masliywa, says the African Union, the Federal Government and COVAX, a coalition consisting of the World Health Organisation, Gavi and Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, expresses surprise about the European Union’s decision not to accept AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in India.
Also, COVAX, consisting of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund, lamented that the EU’s move is already undermining confidence in life-saving vaccines that were safe and effective.
On its part, the Federal Government described the EU’s decision as political.
Recall that the EU says that only those with the EU Digital COVID-19 certificate which enabled people who had received two doses of a vaccine approved by its medicine regulator, the European Medicines Agency, would be able to travel freely within the bloc.
But the pass only recognises AstraZeneca doses (branded Vaxzevria) made by EMA-approved manufacturers in Europe, United States, South Korea and China, not those manufactured by the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India branded Covishield.