The EU recently introduced their vaccine passport program called Green Pass. It is an immunity document to ease travel within the EU starting 1st July. But it has already caused controversy as it only included four vaccines – Astra Zeneca-Oxford, Moderna, Johnson&Johnson and Pfizer. No Indian vaccines or any other vaccines of the world have been accepted.
What has come as a curious case, even the Covishield which is the Indian manufactured version of the Astra Zeneca-Oxford vaccine called Vaxzevria is also excluded. People believe that the EU approved the latter and not the former only due to the difference in manufacturing locations as they are just the differently named jabs of the same vaccine.
The west has been the flagbearer of progressive society with liberal values and an immense significance on parity of race, creed, region, religion and gender. However, this decision has got individuals challenging its principles. The EU is facing criticism. Being called out as hypocritical, prejudiced and even being termed as racist.
The EU has responded to these allegations, asserting that the Green Pass is to ease the movement restrictions, particularly within the EU. They said they have approved only those vaccines which have EU marketing authorization. Indian authorities have argued that they will adopt the policy of reciprocity towards this decision of the EU. After which eight countries including Germany, Spain, and Austria have confirmed that Covishield will be considered as proof of anti-Covid vaccination in their countries. Chances are that some others might as well follow the suit.
Though, this issue is an internal administrative matter of the EU. But what’s concerning is that this certainly ought to create a vaccine hesitancy towards non-US and non-EU based vaccines like Covaxin, Sputnik V, and even Covishield which are being used widely across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Which does not help the fight against Covid in any way.
It appears to be a classic example of Macaulayism. Which promotes anything western as superior and preferable to those across the world.
Or perhaps an attempt backed by a particular pharma lobby to create scepticism against other vaccines across the world. This, if true, is outright immoral and unethical and may set the precedence where other countries will also start restricting the free movement of communities just because of the vaccines they have or haven’t used.
The virus is mutating rapidly and the end of Covid is still far away. The questions remain, and this matter has given birth to a lot of interesting perspectives about the future of travel in this Covid era.
This story is still developing.