The popular Portuguese islands of Madeira said on Sunday that tourists carrying any of the COVID-19 vaccines available globally, not just those approved by Europe’s medicines authority, will be allowed entrance.
Only four vaccines have been approved by the European Union, which launched its digital COVID certificate last week: Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and BioNTech (22UAy.DE), Moderna Inc (MRNA.O), AstraZeneca (AZN.L), and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N).
If residents have been completely vaccinated with one of the four authorized injections, had a recent negative test result, or have immunity owing to recent recovery, the certificate permits them to travel more freely across the bloc.
Member states have the option of extending the certificate to European travelers who have received additional vaccinations.
Mainland Only the four vaccines are accepted by Portugal, but Madeira, an autonomous area known for its wine and lush environment, has indicated that individuals who have gotten additional vaccines, such as those from China’s Sinovac (SVA.O) or India’s Covaxin, are welcome to visit the Atlantic islands.
All would be acceptable, according to Pedro Ramos, Madeira’s health minister, “since if millions have been vaccinated with these vaccines (not authorized by the EU), their degree of protection is comparable to others.”
It comes after the EU was chastised for not adding Covishield, a Serum Institute-made version of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, on a list of authorized vaccinations for the certificate.
The Covishield vaccine, which is also utilized by the worldwide COVAX facility, is believed to have been used by about 5 million individuals in Britain, which is a major source of international tourists for Madeira.
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