Visa Crunch

Covishield gets a green signal from the Australian Government, Indian travelers rejoice

As part of efforts aimed at securely reopening the country in November, Australia designated Covishield, the Indian equivalent of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 injection, as a “recognized vaccination” for overseas travelers on Friday. However, the Australian side has stated that Indian students will have to wait longer before being allowed to return. Foreign students will be able to begin “returning at the end of this year and the beginning of next year,” according to Australia’s visiting commerce and tourism minister Dan Tehan, ahead of the commencement of the first semester in February-March 2022.

Following an initial examination of data on the protection afforded by the two vaccinations, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) designated Covishield and China’s Coronavac (Sinovac) as “recognized vaccines.” The Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Coronavac vaccinations “should be treated as recognized vaccines’ for the purpose of identifying incoming overseas passengers as being suitably vaccinated,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison and many ministers stated in a joint statement. The statement described Australia’s next steps in lifting an international flying restriction and making improvements at the international border.

It stated, “Our administration is laying the groundwork for how overseas travel will appear in the coming months.” India has pressed Australia to allow Indian nationals to travel freely, particularly students desiring to enroll in courses at universities and educational institutes. After China, India is Australia’s second-largest source of international students. Indian students contributed $6.6 billion to the Australian economy in 2019-20. “We are on pace to witness the reopening of Australia in November,” Tehan told reporters in New Delhi. This is significant in a number of ways as it reopens the door for Indian students to return to Australia.” “We are warmly looking forward to welcoming the Indian students.”

The approval of Covishield by Australia also opens the door for Indian businesses to return, according to Tehan. In response to a query about Australia possibly recognizing India’s Covaxin vaccine, Tehan indicated that once the vaccine is authorized by the WHO, it may be considered. Only once 70% of the population has been immunized does the Australian government intend to move forward with international travel. More than 78 percent of Australians have received the first dose, and 55 percent have received a second treatment, with certain places on the course to hit 70 percent in the coming week. Australia will allow travel to reunite Australian families in the beginning. It will also operate to allow tourists to enter.

The certification of Covishield as a “recognized vaccine” for overseas travelers did not imply that it had been licensed for use in Australia, according to the statement. “The acceptance of these two new vaccines is a significant step forward in allowing more Australians who have been vaccinated abroad to return home sooner,” it stated.

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