Where was my AstraZeneca vaccine made? How to check batch number to see if you got Vaxzevria or Covishield jab

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The EU vaccine passport scheme may not accept batches of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine made in India

Millions of UK travellers may be at risk of being blocked from taking European holidays this summer, due to their AstraZeneca Covid vaccines not being recognised by the EU.

Up to five million doses of the AstraZeneca jabs administered in the UK currently do not qualify for the EU's passport scheme as they were manufactured in India.

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The EU vaccine passport scheme may not accept batches of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine made in India (Photo: Shutterstock)The EU vaccine passport scheme may not accept batches of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine made in India (Photo: Shutterstock)
The EU vaccine passport scheme may not accept batches of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine made in India (Photo: Shutterstock)

The EU still does not recognise a version of the AstraZeneca vaccine called Covishield, which is produced by the Serum Institute of India. It currently only accepts those sold under the brand name Vaxzevria.

UK tourists who have been given the Indian-made doses could be flagged up at the EU border and could face being denied entry.

However, the UK authorities have used the brand name Vaxzevria on all UK medical records where the AstraZeneca vaccine has been used, even if they are the Indian-made Covishield version.

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The versions of the vaccines are therefore only identifiable by the batch numbers.

But which batch numbers will not be recognised for travel and how do I find out my vaccine batch number?

Here’s what you need to know.

Which batch numbers may not be recognised for travel to the EU?

It was recently reported that holidaymakers heading to Portugal who were given the Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine could face 14 days quarantine, but it has now emerged that the Portuguese government has changed its mind and will recognise all AstraZeneca doses, as well as the Chinese-made vaccine Sinovac.

However, although the EU Digital Covid Certificate is now in operation to allow travel without the requirement to quarantine, some countries will reportedly not recognise the Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccines with the batch numbers 4120Z001, 4120Z002 and 4120Z003.

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The Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in the UK or Europe, sold under the brand name Vaxzevria, are currently the only vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which regulates vaccinations in the bloc.

However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously said he is "very confident" there "will not prove to be a problem" for travellers who have received an Indian-made Covid jab.

Downing Street said the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had shared its assessment of the vaccines with the EMA to assist with the approvals process.

During a press conference with German Chancellor Angel Merkel on Friday (2 July), the UK prime minister said he saw "no reason at all" why vaccines approved by the MHRA should not be used for vaccine passports.

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How do I find my vaccine batch number?

The batch number of your vaccine will appear on the card you are given after being vaccinated.

You can also find the batch number on the Covid travel pass on the NHS App, which is currently being used as a digital vaccination certificate for foreign travel.

To find your batch number, login into the NHS App and then click on ‘get your NHS Covid pass’.

You can then choose ‘event trials’ and ‘view Covid-19 records’ or ‘travel’ and then ‘Covid-19 records found’ - both of which will then show the details of your Covid vaccines, including the manufacturer, vaccine product and batch number.

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If you do not have access to a smartphone, computer or tablet and know that the country you are travelling to requires Covid-19 status, you can call 119 and ask for a letter to be posted to you.

This should take up to five working days to reach you and should include information regarding your vaccine, including the batch number.

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