“Non-recogition of Covishield is discriminating”: India hits out at UK, warns of ‘reciprocal measures’


India on Tuesday hit out at the British government for its decision to not recognise Covishield as a legitimate vaccine and warned of ‘reciprocal measures.’ Faced with a chilling threat, the British government said that it was engaging with India to explore ways to expand the recognition of Covishield.

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, according to news agency ANI, said, “The non-recogition of Covishield is a discriminating policy & impacts our citizens travelling to the UK. The EAM has raised the issue strongly with the new UK foreign secretary. I am told that certain assurances have been given that this issue will be resolved.”

According to a report by NDTV, India said that the country would be well within its right ‘to take reciprocal measures” if the matter was not resolved.


Faced with chilling threats from India, a British High Commission spokesperson in New Delhi told PTI, “We are engaging with the Government of India to explore how we could expand the UK recognition of vaccine certification to people vaccinated by a relevant public health body in India.”

The UK government recently scrapped its traffic light system for visitors wishing to enter Britain. Under the new rules, anyone from non-red list countries would not be required to undergo a mandatory 10-day home quarantine and two Covid tests, one each on day two and day eight, if they were fully vaccinated.

However, what has incensed Indians are the fact that the British government doesn’t recognise Covishield, forcing Indians with both doses of the vaccines, to undergo home quarantine and mandatory Covid tests.

Covishield is produced by Serum Institute of India, which had provided millions of same vaccines, known as AstraZeneca, to the United Kingdom for its domestic use. Ironically, whilst the British government recognises the vaccines produced by the SII for its domestic use, it has refused to extend a similar recognition to Covishield.

The biggest casualty of the British government’s controversial policy has been Indian students, who’ve had to travel to the UK to start their new academic year. They’ve been forced to spend thousands of rupees on expensive home quarantine and mandatory Covid tests despite being fully vaccinated.