Thank you for emailing me about batches of AstraZeneca and the EU Digital COVID Certificate scheme.
I understand your concerns that the EU's COVID Certificate scheme does not currently recognise doses of the AstraZeneca jab manufactured in India, known as Covishield. While this is clearly an issue that needs to be resolved, I welcome the Prime Minister's confidence that this will not ultimately prove to be a problem for UK travellers.
The Serum Institute of India (SII) manufactures both Vaxzevria and Covishield, branded vaccines which are the same as the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. All SII-made doses approved by the UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and administered in the UK were branded as the ’COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca’ which is now known commercially as ‘Vaxzevria’.
The MHRA has not approved doses branded as ‘Covishield’ and none have been administered in the UK. All AstraZeneca vaccines given in the UK are the same product and appear on the NHS COVID Pass as Vaxzevria. The Government has said that they are not aware of any guidance by the EMA or EU regarding the non-acceptance of UK travellers with AstraZeneca batch numbers produced in India. However, as always, anyone considering travelling abroad should first check the UK Government's travel advice pages, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
The European Medicines Agency has authorised the Vaxzevria vaccine and it is therefore recognised by the European Union. I am assured that the Government continues to engage the European Union on certification to ensure that travel between the United Kingdom and the EU is unhindered and supported by a common approach.
Thank you again for contacting me.