Following on from the additional queries raised around the AZ vaccine that has been manufactured in India. This has been investigated by DHSC who have provided us with the following information regarding this issue:
- All AstraZeneca vaccines given in the UK are the same product and appear on the NHS COVID Pass as Vaxzevria.
- The European Medicines Agency, as well as our own medicines regulator, has authorised this vaccine and travel should not be affected.
- No Covishield vaccines have been administered in the UK.
- All doses used in the UK have been subject to rigorous safety and quality checks, including individual batch testing and physical site inspections, by the UK medicine’s regulator, the MHRA.
- Ensuring safe and open travel with our global partners is a clear priority and we are engaging with international partners on certification to ensure travel for vaccinated people is unhindered in the future.
- We have spoken to the EU Commission who have confirmed that neither the Commission nor the EMA has advised Member States against accepting travellers vaccinated with ‘SII doses’.
- Our High Commission in Malta has been discussing this issue with the Maltese Government, who have agreed that they will accept the NHS certificate with the EMA approved AZ Vaxzevria dose.
- Astra Zeneca vaccine will be recognised in the same way as any other.
On the stories specifically about Malta last week:
- The Maltese authorities have agreed to amend their travel advice so this should not happen again.
- The government of Malta has advised they will recognise an NHS Covid Pass as valid evidence for entry. They set this out themselves at www.foreignandeu.gov.mt/Travel-Advice.aspx
- Anyone who has had their second dose of Astra Zeneca vaccine two weeks or more ago can get an NHS Covid Pass, as set out here: www.foreignandeu.gov.mt/Travel-Advice.aspx
- The Malta Deputy PM / Health Minister’s page also links directly to our own travel advice and the Malta International Airport page has been updated to reflect the change: www.deputyprimeminister.gov.mt/en/health-promotion/covid-19/Pages/travel.aspx and www.maltairport.com/covid19/arrival/