France has now approved the entry of visitors vaccinated with the Indian-made Covishield vaccine, and is now the latest EU member to do so. The news came amid apprehensions over the approval of vaccines made outside Europe; moreover, there has been a public outcry that the European Union’s COVID-19 certificate only approves AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in Europe. French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the same on Saturday.
In addition to France, the vaccine is already approved by Belgium, Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, Greece, Finland, Hungary, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Slovenia. In addition, Iceland and Switzerland also gave a nod to visitors vaccinated with the Covishield vaccine. A number of countries, including Italy, Croatia and Norway, have still not approved Covishield.
France’s decision to approve the vaccine came as a surprise as the country has seen an increase in the number of infections in recent weeks. Additionally, there are growing concerns about the Delta variant, which is highly contagious. In an effort to contain the COVID outbreak, the French President recently announced a number of measures, including the mandatory use of the COVID health pass for entry to most public places. The French government is also in the running to vaccinate all of its health workers.
According to reports, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has predicted a peak in COVID cases as early as August. As such, all non-essential travel is currently strongly discouraged.