France greenlights India-made AstraZeneca vaccine for international visitors

France greenlights India-made AstraZeneca vaccine for international visitors
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France announced on Saturday that international travelers who have been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine made in India will be allowed in the country.

The announcement by the prime minister follows backlash after the European Union’s COVID-19 certificate did not recognize the AstraZeneca vaccines made by India’s Serum Institute but recognized the ones made in Europe, The Associated Press reported.

France will only recognize vaccines approved by European Union medicine regulators, which means travelers who have received vaccines made in China and Russia will not be permitted to enter the country.

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Other countries in the European Union were already accepting India’s AstraZeneca vaccine before France’s decision. 

Along with the update about the vaccine policy for international travelers, Tunisia, Indonesia, Cuba and Mozambique were all added to the country’s “red list” of high-risk countries due to coronavirus outbreaks.

The new measures are coupled with a crackdown on coronavirus vaccines this past week by France, which has received backlash from its citizens.

Healthcare workers are now required to get the coronavirus vaccine by Sept. 15 or they will be suspended without pay. Citizens have to use COVID-19 passes to do daily activities such as shopping and dining out.

A COVID-19 pass is only valid if a person is fully vaccinated, has recently recovered from the virus or recently tested negative for COVID-19.

French residents took to the streets this past week to protest the new mandates, saying the restrictions are unfair.

Updated: 10:26 a.m.