UK to add China's Sinovac, Sinopharm to approved COVID-19 vaccine list

LONDON -- The British government said it would recognize COVID-19 vaccines on the World Health Organization's Emergency Use Listing later this month, adding China's Sinovac and Sinopharm Beijing vaccines to the country's approved list of vaccines for inbound travelers.

A staff member checks vials of inactivated COVID-19 vaccine on an automated packaging line of Sinovac Life Sciences Co., Ltd. in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 23, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)

The change, which will come into force from Nov. 22, means travelers who have received these two jabs will be considered fully vaccinated in Britain.

India's Covaxin is also included in Britain's updated list.

Passengers arriving in Britain after having been fully vaccinated and having received their vaccine certificate from one of more than 135 approved countries and territories are no longer required to take a pre-departure test, a day-eight test or self-isolate upon arrival.

Those who have proof of vaccination from a country or territory that is not on the list, or with a vaccine that is not listed, must follow the rules for people who do not qualify as fully vaccinated.

The approved vaccines list currently includes Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca (including Covishield), Moderna and Janssen (J&J).

Additionally, the British government has said that, from Nov. 22, all under-18s traveling to England will be treated as fully vaccinated at the border and will be exempt from self-isolation requirements on arrival, day-eight testing and pre-departure testing.

They will only be required to take a post-arrival test and a confirmatory free PCR test if they test positive.

More than 87 percent of people aged 12 and over in Britain have had their first vaccine dose and over 79 percent have received both doses, the latest figures showed. Meanwhile, more than 17 percent have received booster jabs, or the third doses of a coronavirus vaccine.