Over 200,000 Canadians got the COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccine.👇
If you're planning a vacation to Europe in the near future, it may be important (and necessary!) to check exactly which COVID-19 vaccine you received.
That's because the COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccine (which has been approved by Health Canada) is not currently eligible for the European Union's (EU) Digital COVID Certificate, a type of proof of vaccination program.
This means that Canadians who've been vaccinated with COVISHIELD may face extra hurdles if and when the EU opens the program to international travellers.
What is COVISHIELD?
COVISHIELD simply refers to the India-made version of AstraZeneca's Vaxzevria vaccine.
Instead of being manufactured in Europe (like the Vaxzevria version), it's manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
Health Canada says it has "reviewed the manufacturing information for these vaccines [COVISHIELD and Vaxzevria] and found them to be comparable."
But while COVISHIELD has been approved for use in Canada, it has not yet been approved in the European Union.
How do I find out if I got COVISHIELD?
According to the federal government's latest data, over 200,000 Canadians have received at least one dose of the COVISHIELD vaccine.
In an email to Narcity, the Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed that people vaccinated in Canada must contact their local health authority to get official details about the type of COVID-19 vaccine they got.
"Canadians wanting to know which version of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine they received would want to contact provincial or municipal health authorities," the health agency explained.
Which COVID-19 vaccines are eligible for the EU travel pass?
The European Medicines Agency has given the green light for almost all of the same COVID-19 vaccines as Canada, including those from Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) and Johnson & Johnson.
This means all of the above vaccines are eligible for the EU's Digital COVID-19 Vaccination Passport, which launched on July 1, 2021.
BBC News reported last week that the Serum Institute of India is currently seeking emergency authorization in the EU for the COVISHIELD vaccine.
For now though, the Canadian government continues to "strongly advise" against all non-essential travel, even for fully vaccinated Canadians.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.