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UK travellers barred from Malta after having Indian-made version of AstraZeneca vaccine

How to tell if you have had the Indian-made Astrazeneca vaccine 

Every AZ vaccine administered in the UK will appear under the same name – Vaxzevria – in medical records and on the NHS app.

The only way you can find out if your jab was in India is by checking the batch number.

Those who were given the jab will have the numbers 4120Z001, 4120Z002 or 4120Z003. 

This appears on the vaccination record card you will have received when you got your jab.

For those who did not hold on to their card, they can find the batch number on their NHS Covid pass letter, which can be downloaded online.

The letter is used for travelling abroad or going to mass events in future, which may require proof of vaccination.

You can get your pass letter if you’ve had two doses of the vaccine in England.

To apply for a physical pass letter you can visit the NHS website by clicking here.

Or you can download a digital version on the NHS App or the online Covid Pass service. 

Authorities in Malta have reversed their travel advice regarding an Indian-made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine after a British couple were turned away from a flight to the island, despite both having two jabs.

Steve and Glenda Hardy, who received doses of the vaccine in March, were barred from flying by staff working for travel operator TUI at Manchester Airport on Friday. 

The retired couple, from Hull, were trying to visit their son, who they have not seen for over a year.

The European Medicines Agency does not yet recognise the vaccine which is made at the Serum Institute of India, even though it is just as effective as AstraZeneca doses made elsewhere.

As a result, it is not recognised by the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate which allows those who are fully vaccinated to move through Europe without having to quarantine or undergo further testing. 

Some European nations have unilaterally pledged to accept the jab but Malta — one of a handful of countries on the Government’s green list of travel destinations — did not initially agree to admit visitors who have had it. 

Now though, it has U-turned on its policy after the Government confronted Maltese officials.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted: ‘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.’

Mrs Hardy, 63, had earlier said: ‘We haven’t seen our son for a year. My son and wife were both absolutely in pieces. I drove home and I still don’t know how I managed.

‘A TUI rep checked our certificates and we were told we couldn’t travel because Malta weren’t accepting the vaccine we had been given.

‘That was the first we had heard of it. We had done everything possible – we had paid for the PCR tests, we had downloaded the NHS app and printed off the letter – and we had been talking to TUI every day leading up to our flight.

‘It came as a surprise because we had been told weeks ago that none of the Indian-made vaccines were being issued here and then Boris Johnson said it would not be a problem.

‘People are going everywhere but we are not allowed to see our son in Malta because they are not accepting it.

‘We didn’t even know we had been given it. We just did what we were told – we went and got vaccinated. 

Steve and Glenda Hardy were turned away at Manchester Airport because Malta would not allow them to enter after they were unknowingly given an Indian-made version of the vaccine

Matthew White, a naturalised Maltese resident originally from the UK, said he was ‘very grateful’ the change had been made but added that it was ‘about time’.

Malta requires travellers to have had two jabs, but over the weekend the 50-year-old noticed a notification on Malta International Airport’s website stating that three doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine would not be accepted – including his own Covishield jab.

Responding to Mr Shapps’s update, Mr White said: ‘It is about time he answered. I have been tagging him and the so-called vaccines minister (on Twitter) for days.

‘We are very grateful to the Maltese authorities for their change of heart on this as this will enable us to return safely home.

‘We fully support the strategy of double-vaccination entry only to help protect our beautiful islands and people from the ongoing pandemic.’ 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously assured that it would not be an issue for Britons travelling around the EU.

Earlier this month, Mr Johnson told Sky News: ‘I see no reason at all why the MHRA-approved vaccines should not be recognised as part of the vaccine passports.

‘I am very confident that will not prove to be a problem.’ 

It came as ministers were said to be considering taking the Balearic Islands off the green list and putting them back on to the amber list.    

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today said Britons who received doses of the jab made in India should not be prevented from travelling. Mr Shapps told the BBC the Government will take up the issue with authorities in Malta, adding: 'It is not right and it shouldn’t be happening'

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today said Britons who received doses of the jab made in India should not be prevented from travelling. Mr Shapps told the BBC the Government will take up the issue with authorities in Malta, adding: ‘It is not right and it shouldn’t be happening’

TUI refunded the Hardys' tickets after turning them away but the couple were devastated

TUI refunded the Hardys’ tickets after turning them away but the couple were devastated

The European Medicines Agency does not recognise the vaccine produced at the Serum Institute of India (SII), even though it is no less effective than other jabs. Pictured: Stock image

The European Medicines Agency does not recognise the vaccine produced at the Serum Institute of India (SII), even though it is no less effective than other jabs. Pictured: Stock image

Ten EU countries – Spain, Greece, Austria, the Netherlands, Estonia, Germany, Slovenia, Iceland, Switzerland and Ireland – have dismissed suggestions that Britons jabbed with the SII AstraZeneca doses would be locked out of summer holidays. 

Travel advice on the TUI website says the SII jabs can be identified by their batch numbers, which are written on the card given after vaccinations and printed on NHS certificates proving inoculation. 

‘Entry will not be allowed if the vaccine batch on your certificate is from one of the following: 4120Z001, 4120Z002, 4120Z003,’ according to Malta’s travel guidelines, which was updated on July 7. 

In a further blow for would-be holidaymakers, the Balearic Islands could be moved on to the amber list.

Just weeks after being declared Covid-safe, the islands of Ibiza, Majorca, Menorca and Formentera are on the cusp of being taken off the green list.

It means thousands of youngsters who aren’t fully vaccinated will have to isolate for ten days after returning from their breaks following a surge in cases.

The popular Spanish islands were added to the green list only three weeks ago – but travellers were warned that they could drop back to amber at any moment.

A final decision on the latest update to the traffic light system is set to be approved by ministers today.

But under rules coming in next week, double-jabbed Brits will still be able to take advantage of the holiday destinations without the need to quarantine on return.

However, this will not apply to younger people who have not had both jabs – and evicted Love Island stars who have not been fully vaccinated will be forced to isolate when they are booted out of the TV reality show villa.

Cases on the islands have soared to 258 cases per 100,000 people.

A source told The Sun: ‘It’s all still up for discussion, but the figures aren’t great, which is why it was on the watch list in the first place.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk