The Federal Government has described the European Union’s decision on the digital COVID-19 certificate as political.
Recall that the EU had said that only those with the EU Digital COVID-19 certificate which enabled people who had received two doses of a vaccine approved by its medicine regulator, the European Medicines Agency, would be able to travel freely within the bloc.
The pass only recognises AstraZeneca doses (branded Vaxzevria) made by EMA-approved manufacturers in Europe, United States, South Korea and China, not those manufactured by the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India branded Covishield.
COVAX, a coalition whose aim is to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries, donated to African countries, AstraZeneca vaccine, manufactured in India
But the Secretary of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Dr Mukhtar Muhammed, told journalists on Thursday that the EU’s decision packed scientific facts.
“I think people have to make a distinction between a scientific decision and also a political decision and from a scientific decision, there is no difference between a vaccine that is got from COVAX and a vaccine produced in Europe.
“The vaccines are the same. The manufacturing processes are the same, the storage and packaging are actually the same.
“We know also that there are political decisions which the European Union has made several mistakes since the commencement of this pandemic, they had Oxford AstraZeneca, they didn’t release it but were vaccinating their people.
“These are all political decisions that they have made
“And in this particular instance I want to believe that they are not disputing the efficiency of the Covishield but rather it is just a political decision to say that particular manufacturer has not been approved in Europe and that is not something that should be in the news
“They could have just told the manufacturers to make sure that they register their products in Europe.
“It is really unfortunate that we are making politics out of science. It is sad as we are going through a lot with this pandemic,” Muhammed said.