West Berkshire resident calls on Government to sort issues surrounding Covishield vaccines not yet approved by the EU as travel begins to open up for Britons
A NEWBURY man is calling on the government to fix the ‘administrative error’ that means millions of people have had a dose of the Covid vaccine that has not yet been approved by the EU.
The issue affects certain batches of the AstraZeneca vaccine that were made in India by the Serum Institute – leaving many people wondering what that means for their international travel status as the jabs cannot currently be used on the EU Covid passport.
Wash Common resident Steven Hayward, 56, said the issue was something “he came across by chance” but he is now keen to warn others to check their batch numbers, particularly if they plan to go on holiday as more countries are added to the government’s green travel list this summer.
“We go on holiday to Portugal and we were thinking of booking to go away later in the year,” he said. “But Portugal isn’t one of those countries that will accept it.
“It will start to cause problems unless things are sorted pretty quickly.
“I have spoken to colleagues and friends and they were totally unaware of it.”
Mr Hayward and his wife Elaine both attended the Newbury Racecourse vaccination centre on March 19 and were given one of the Covishield jabs, but alarm bells started ringing when they went to get their second vaccinations in Basingstoke.
“At Basingstoke they could not understand the first batch number as they had not come across one written in that format before,” Mr Hayward added. “I have no fears whatsoever about the jab itself, it’s just can the government get this administrative error sorted.
“Everybody is dependant on who is open to who and there’s enough confusion over that without having to think about this. We could be denied entry at the border if we go away so it will influence us looking ahead now.”
Mr Hayward has now urged Newbury MP Laura Farris to look into it. A spokesman for Mrs Farris said she has raised the issue of the AstraZeneca vaccines recognition with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
Another West Berkshire resident, Trish Lee, was also given the Covishield vaccine at Newbury Racecourse in March.
She said: “I found out my first vaccination at Newbury Racecourse in March was one of the AZ batches in question quite by chance.
“I would like to know what the government is doing about the situation and hope they resolve this problem fast, and keep those affected informed.”
It has been reported that a number of countries, including Spain and Germany, will still allow UK visitors in if they have had one of the currently unapproved doses.
It has been stressed that there is nothing wrong with the vaccines.
The affected vaccine batch numbers are: 4120Z001, 4120Z002 and 4120Z003. You can check your vaccine batch number on the NHS app or on your paper vaccination card.