Malta will now permit entry to British visitors fully vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine produced in India, according to transport secretary Grant Shapps.
Shapps tweeted on Wednesday (14 July) confirming Malta had amended its rules to allow entry to those vaccinated using the AstraZeneca vaccine “regardless of manufacture location”.
His update followed comments earlier promising the UK government would be “speaking to” Maltese authorities after reports some British travellers were being denied entry because they had received an Indian-made version of the vaccine.
UPDATE: 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.— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) July 14, 2021
The Indian-produced batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been given to around five million people in the UK, has yet to be approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), although it is on the World Health Organisation (WHO) list of approved vaccines.
Several EU countries had already agreed to accept the Indian-made vaccine but Malta was yet to do so.
“It’s not right and should not be happening in our view,” said Shapps when asked about the issue on BBC Breakfast this morning.
“It does not matter whether the AstraZeneca [vaccine] you have is made here or by the Serum Institute in India. They are absolutely the same product and provide absolutely the same certification and level of protection from the virus."