Covid Wrap-up: UK clears Covishield; confusion remains

Covid-19 Wrap-up: UK gives clearance to Covishield but confusion over travel mandate remains

There has been widespread condemnation of SII-manufactured vaccines not being included in a list of eligible Covid-19 vaccines

Credit: AFP Photo

In a major development, the UK government added the Covishield vaccine to its international travel advisory, however, there is confusion over the its vaccine recognition process for Indian travellers. Even though Oxford/AstraZeneca Covishield, the India-manufactured Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, is on an updated international travel advisory, India is not yet on a list of 17 approved countries.

There has been widespread condemnation of the Serum Institute of India manufactured vaccines not being included in a list of eligible Covid-19 vaccines recognised under Britain's reviewed international travel norms, effective from October 4.

Meanwhile, Canada has extended curbs on all direct commercial and private passenger flights from India until September 26.

After the Kerala High Court's intervention, the Centre is likely to bring in some changes to its Covishield vaccine policy, allowing a smaller gap between the doses for inoculations being carried out privately. The Kerala high court  had ordered changes in the health ministry's vaccine-booking platform to give people paying for vaccination this choice, which is already being offered to those flying abroad.

Considering the plight of kids who lost their parents due to the pandemic, CBSE has decided to waive off registration and examination fees for classes 10 and 12 students who were orphaned due to Covid-19.

Although the R-value in the overall country has been below one, six metropolitan cities, including Bengaluru and Mumbai, have seen a spoke. R-value signals a pandemic's ability to spread.

While Bengaluru's Covid cases have been under control since a few weeks now, a new concern has hit the city as over 40 BSF soldiers who returned from Shillong a few days ago have tested positive, resulting in one of the biggest Covid clusters in Bengaluru in the recent past.

While the government has been pushing the vaccination drive, jab hesitancy among the elderly in Kerala has come up as a big concern. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had recently stated that around 9 lakh people aged above 60 and those with comorbid factors were yet to take Covid vaccination.

Johnson & Johnson said that a second shot of its Covid-19 vaccine given about two months after the first increased its effectiveness to 94 per cent in the United States against moderate to severe forms of the disease. There were reports that India will receive the first doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in October.