Unjust green

Source: The Hindu

Relevance: After Vaccination, countries are opening up their economies. Countries will adopt policies which may impact India’s interest.

Synopsis: The vaccine passport issue has been in news recently due to Discrimination against vaccines of few countries.

  • Recently the European Union have decided to enforce a “Green Pass” to allow travel within the EU.
  • Under Green Pass regulation, only people who have taken vaccines acknowledged by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) guidelines are allowed to travel in EU countries.
  • The vaccines included under the European Medicines Agency (EMA) guidelines are Comirnaty, Vaccine Janssen, Spikevax and Vaxzevria.
  • Neither of India’s vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, as well as Russia’s and China’s, would be eligible for the EU Digital COVID Certificate (Green Pass).
  • Consequently, India and other African countries are protesting against such irrational Exclusionary principles.
What are the issues associated with this regulation?
  • One, India has argued that the entire idea of “vaccine passports” would leave developing nations and the global south at a disadvantage, as they have restricted vaccine access.
  • Two, it has been criticised that there is a hint of racism in the action as the EMA list only includes vaccines already used by Europe and North America.
  • Three, Covishield the “backbone” of the COVAX alliance’s programme. it is made under licensing and certification from AstraZeneca, and cleared by WHO.
Way forward
  • As more nations complete their vaccine programmes, they will seek to tighten their border controls. They will use measures like “vaccine passports” and longer quarantines in order to curtail the spread of new variants.
  • While it is necessary to battle discriminatory practices, the real imperative remains to vaccinate as many Indians as possible.
  • Given that only 4.4% of those eligible have been fully vaccinated, India needs to increase its vaccine capacity
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