CANBERRA – Australia”s medical regulator has recognized two more coronavirus vaccines for international travel purposes as the country gradually reopens to the world amid battle against the third wave of infections.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recently announced that BBIBP-CorV developed by China’s Sinopharm and Covaxin manufactured by India’s Bharat Biotech will be recognized for the purpose of establishing a traveller’s vaccination status.
It means that travellers aged 12 and over who have been inoculated with Covaxin and those aged 18-60 inoculated with BBIBP-CorV will be considered vaccinated against COVID-19 by Australia, said TGA.
“In recent weeks, the TGA has obtained additional information demonstrating these vaccines provide protection and potentially reduce the likelihood that an incoming traveller would transmit COVID-19 infection to others while in Australia or become acutely unwell due to COVID-19,” the TGA said in a statement on Monday afternoon.
Recognition of the two COVID-19 vaccines, along with the previously announced recognition of CoronaVac (manufactured by Sinovac, China) and Covishield (manufactured by AstraZeneca, India), means many citizens of China and India as well as other countries in the region where these vaccines have been widely deployed will now be considered fully vaccinated on entry to Australia, according to the statement.
“This will have significant impacts for the return of international students, and travel of skilled and unskilled workers to Australia,” it said.
People who receive either vaccine will have to wait seven days after their second dose to be regarded as fully vaccinated by the TGA.
On Tuesday morning, Australia reported 1,170 new locally-acquired coronavirus infections – the country’s fewest since late August – and 13 deaths.
The majority of new cases were in Victoria, the country’s second-most populous state with Melbourne as the capital city, where 989 cases and nine deaths were reported.
So far about 88.5 percent of Australians aged 16 and over had received one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 78.1 percent were fully inoculated, according to the latest figures from Department of Health.
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