The Netherlands has become the eighth European Union country to accept Covishield vaccine

The Netherlands on Friday accepted the Serum Institute of India's Covishield vaccine as a valid proof of vaccination for travelling to the country, people familiar with the development have said. This comes two days after India asked the European Union for a reciprocal gesture on India-backed vaccines.

Other vaccines approved by the country include Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty), AstraZeneca EU (Vaxzevria), Johnson & Johnson ((COVID-19 Vaccine) Janssen), Moderna (Spikevax), AstraZeneca-SK Bio (Vaxzevria), Sinopharm BIBP and Sinovac.

According to the official statement, the proof of vaccination is accepted only if it has been issued following vaccination with a vaccine that has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or is on the Emergency Use Listing of the World Health Organization (WHO).

As per sources, nine European nations are accepting Covishield vaccines for travel to their countries. Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland and Spain are among the countries allowing travel by people who have taken Covishield vaccines, sources said. Switzerland is also accepting Covishield.

Earlier on Wednesday, India had asked EU member states to accept Covid-19 vaccines authorised by the World Health Organization (WHO) or national authorities, such as Covishield and Covaxin, for Indian nationals travelling to Europe.

Earlier, India had told EU member states that it will follow a policy of reciprocity in recognising Covid-19 vaccines for travel, and exempt EU nationals possessing the “green pass” from mandatory quarantine only if the bloc includes vaccines being administered in India in the EU Digital Covid Certificate.

Covishield and Covaxin are the two main vaccines being used for India’s immunisation programme.

The EU Digital COVID Certificate will serve as proof that a person was vaccinated, received a negative test result or recovered from Covid-19. Temporary restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU are currently in place from many countries, including India, due to the pandemic.