EMA CRITERIA FOR VACCINE PASSPORT WILL APPLY
Ylva Johansson, Commissioner for Internal Affairs of the European Union (EU) Commission, said in a statement in Brussels that the EU’s planned vaccine identity will only document vaccines that have been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). It means that those who use Russian and Chinese vaccines that are intended to be used in some European countries will not be given a vaccine identity.
In addition to the vaccine developed by the EMA in partnership with Biontech and Pfizer, the vaccines developed by Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson companies have been given permission to use. However, EU member Hungary used the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm, which was not approved by the EMA, while Slovakia and Czechia ordered the Sputnik V vaccine developed by Russia.
The EMA had examined Sputnik V’s application for approval in early March. The EMA is expected to make its decision for Sputnik V in a few weeks.
Travels will be easier
Stating in his statement that EU citizens will document that “the possibility of spreading the virus will be very low”, EU official Johansson said that identity can facilitate the travel of vaccinated people without having to have a re-PCR test.
On the other hand, it remains unclear whether this document will be stipulated on trips or event visits within the European Union. Some countries, such as Belgium, are against linking free movement in the European Union to vaccine identity. Some countries also do not want any discrimination to be granted to the small number of vaccinated people.
At their summit in late February, EU governments and heads of state agreed to create a Europe-wide digital vaccine identity. The EU Commission will also announce its proposals for the harmonization of vaccine certificates planned at the national level next Wednesday.
Johansson said that in this document, called the “green certificate”, the negative PCR test result and antibody information against the coronavirus should also be recorded. The vaccine identity is aimed to be put into effect until the summer.