Destinations

Australia recognises two more COVID-19 vaccines for international visitors

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has announced it will recognise two more COVID-19 vaccines that are not registered in Australia but used widely internationally.

The TGA has determined that Covaxin (manufactured by Bharat Biotech, India) and BBIBP-CorV (manufactured by Sinopharm, China) vaccines would be recognised for the purpose of establishing a traveller’s vaccination status.

This recognition is for travellers aged 12 and over who have been vaccinated with Covaxin, and those 18 to 60 who have been vaccinated with BBIBP-CorV.

In recent weeks, the TGA said it 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 supporting information has been provided to the TGA from the vaccine sponsor and/or the World Health Organisation,” it said in a statement.

Recognition of Covaxin and BBIBP-CorV, 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.

The TGA’s decision is a big positive for the return of international students and the travel of skilled and unskilled workers to Australia, and comes not long after Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he “fully anticipates” the return of double-vaxxed international tourists by the end of the year.

In addition, with input from the TGA, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has determined that those who have received two doses of a TGA-approved or recognised vaccine at least 14 days apart are regarded as fully vaccinated from seven days after the second dose (with the exception of Janssen vaccine, where they are regarded as fully vaccinated seven days after the single dose).

This includes homologous (two doses of the same vaccine) and heterologous (two doses of two different TGA-approved or recognised vaccines) schedules.

As of yesterday, vaccinated Aussies and permanent residents aged 12 and over are allowed to head overseas without the need to seek a travel exemption.


Featured image source: iStock/MarsBars


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