Return of International Students to Be Facilitated as Australia Recognizes Covaxin

Australia Oceania COVID-19 International Studies by Erudera News Nov 01, 2021


International travelers, including students vaccinated with the Covaxin vaccine, manufactured by Bharat Biotech, India, will be able to travel to Australia as the latter has recognized the vaccine for those aged 12 and over.

The government has announced that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has also recognized BBIBP-CorV, manufactured by Sinopharm, China, reports.

“Today, the TGA 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,” a media release issued by the Australian Department of Health reads.

According to the health department, the recognition of Covaxin and BBIBP-CorV, as well as the Coronavac, manufactured by Sinovac, China, and Covishield manufactured by AstraZeneca, India, means that individuals travelling from China, India, and other countries where these vaccines are used will be considered fully vaccinated upon their arrival to Australia.

“This will have significant impacts for the return of international students, and travel of skilled and unskilled workers to Australia,” it adds.

Those who have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by TGA at least 14 days apart would be considered fully vaccinated from 7 days after getting the second dose of the vaccine.

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

TGA’s recognition of Coronavac (Sinovac) and Covishield (AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India) vaccines for international travelers was welcomed by Australia’s leading research-intensive universities, Group of Eight (Go8).

Chief Executive of the Group of Eight, Vicki Thomson, earlier said that the decision would give certainty to Australia’s international students who continue their studies offshore.

“They have stuck by our world class universities during the pandemic with the expectation that they can eventually be back in Australia to resume their studies on campus,” Thomson said.

Australians and permanent residents aged 12 and over, who are vaccinated for COVID-19, are allowed to enter Australia as of November 1, 2021, without needing to seek a travel exemption.

Meanwhile, international students enrolled at Australian universities remain stuck abroad for 591 days now due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. However, the government has recently announced that it will allow international students to enter Australia by early December 2021.

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