UK welcomes more UAE travellers by adding Sinopharm and Covaxin to approved vaccines list

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People double dosed with Sinovac, Sinopharm and Covaxin can travel quarantine-free to the UK from November 22.

The UK said it will recognise all Covid-19 vaccines on the World Health Organisation’s emergency use list this month.

The country will add China’s Sinovac, Sinopharm and India’s Covaxin to approved vaccines for inbound travellers, the Department for Transport said.

The travel rules are being further simplified as all people under the age of 18 will be treated as fully vaccinated and will also be able to enter England without isolating on arrival.

The changes, which come into force from November 22, will benefit fully vaccinated people from countries such as the UAE, Malaysia and India.

A large percentage of people in the UAE have received at least two doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, with most taking a third booster shot of either Sinopharm or Pfizer BioNTech.

This, however, was not enough to allow quarantine-free travel to the UK, because the country required people to be fully vaccinated with two shots of Pfizer BioNTech.

Sinopharm and Sinovac shots account for almost half of the 7.3 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses delivered around the world.

The World Health Organisation approved Covaxin for emergency use on November 3. The vaccine involves two doses taken four weeks apart.

Around 12 per cent of the billion vaccinations administered in India used Covaxin.

Bharat Biotech, which makes the inoculation, has published data suggesting it offers 78 per cent efficacy.

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