By Ron Howells • 14 July 2021 • 23:20
Malta updates travel advice and lifts Indian vaccine batch ban
Malta has updated it’s travel advice and lifted the Indian vaccine batch ban.
Malta has today, Wednesday, July 14, updated it’s travel advice which will allow UK residents to enter the country even if they have received AstraZeneca vaccines produced in India, transport secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed.
Around five million UK citizens who had received vaccines in three batches produced by India’s Serum Institute had previously been warned they would not be permitted to enter a number of countries, including Malta.
However, Shapps told the BBC today that the decision “wasn’t right” and said he hoped “confusion” over the nature of the vaccines would be “cleared up”.
In a subsequent tweet, the transport secretary said: “The Maltese authorities have amended their travel advice so anyone who has an OXFORD AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK (regardless of manufacture location) is able to travel without being turned away – with all vaccines having gone through rigorous safety and quality checks.”
Speaking to BBC Breakfast this morning, Shapps said: “[People being barred from travel] is not right and it shouldn’t be happening in our view. The medicines agency (MHRA) have been very clear that it doesn’t matter whether the AstraZeneca that you have is made here or in India.
“It’s exactly the same product and provides exactly the same certification and level of protection from the virus. We’ll certainly speak to our Maltese colleagues to point all this out. It’s up to them what they do but we will be making the scientific point in the strongest terms that there is no difference.”
He added: “I think there may be some confusion because the Serum Institute also manufactures the Covishield version which is not MHRA-approved. The Covishield version is not distributed in this country so no UK-vaccinated person has received that particular version and I think that may clear it up.”
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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