Travel Expect More Countries to Accept Covaxin

Travel service providers expect more countries to ease travel requirements for Indians vaccinated with Covaxin even as the World Health Organization (WHO) this week requested additional clarification from Bharat Biotech ahead of to grant an Emergency Use License (EUL) for its Covid vaccine.

Oman added Covaxin to the approved list of Covid-19 vaccines for travel on Wednesday, lifting the quarantine requirement for passengers from India who received two doses of the vaccine at least 14 days before the estimated arrival date.

Travel platforms said they are seeing an increase in bookings for destinations that accept Covaxin such as Greece, Sri Lanka and Mauritius.

“While WHO acceptance opens the doors to several global destinations and is certainly helpful, individual governments can take an independent call,” said Romil Pant, senior vice president, leisure travel at Thomas Cook ( India). “And, of course, what is clearly positive is that several destinations such as Dubai, the Maldives and Russia offer entry regardless of vaccine status with checks and balances like RT-PCR in place.” , did he declare.

“With WHO expecting to meet again for the final risk and benefit assessment of Covaxin on November 3, we are hoping for approval this time around,” Pant said.

Nishant Pitti, CEO of EaseMyTrip, said that while countries are not bound by the WHO suggestion and may decide for themselves to recognize Covaxin, the WHO approval will work like a boost. “A significant portion of our population is vaccinated with Covaxin. The approval will also allow more travelers to visit their preferred international destinations,” he said.

Ixigo said countries such as Serbia have recognized Covaxin on the basis of “mutual acceptance” of vaccines, while Oman may have approved it to facilitate travel for Indian nationals.

“Likewise, to facilitate travel and attract tourists, Mauritius also accepts the Covaxin,” the company said.

“Global acceptance of Covaxin will certainly facilitate international travel plans for Indian travelers who are currently vaccinated with Covaxin but cannot travel or face mandatory quarantine due to current restrictions.”

Subhash Goyal, chairman of STIC Travel and Air Charter Group, pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and some cabinet ministers took Covaxin and was cited as being effective against the Delta variant.

“Some people preferred Covaxin to Covishield, seeing encouraging results. Some countries recognize Covaxin bilaterally,” he said. “So the sooner the WHO recognizes that, the better. There shouldn’t be any unnecessary delays just because this is a developing country.”

Daniel D’Souza, president and country chief at the SOTC, said he hoped for positive news for travelers doubly stung with Covaxin. “According to a recent report, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has cleared Covaxin with some runners. If more countries approve Covaxin, it will allow Indians to continue their long-standing travel plans. “, did he declare. .

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