Riyadh: In a major relief to thousands of non-resident Indians (NRI) in Saudi Arabia, the Indian embassy in RIyadh on Sunday announced that gulf nation has recognised the Covishield COVID-19 vaccine as an equivalent of the AstraZeneca shot.

The embassy of India in Saudi Arabia took to Twitter and wrote, “Embassy is pleased to announce that Saudi Authorities have recognised the equivalence of Covishield vaccine in India to the Astra Zeneca vaccine which is approved by Saudi authorities.”

With this, Indian expatriates do not need to quarantine when they come to Saudi. Among the vaccines approved in Saudi Arabia in AstraZeneca’s Covishield, which is available in India. The Covshield vaccine in India is listed as Saudi AstraZeneca-Oxford.

Saudi Arabia approved vaccines are Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. Earlier, expatriates found it difficult to convince immigration officials and airlines that the Covshield vaccine and AstraZeneca are the same vaccine.

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia’s general authority of civil aviation announced that visitors arriving to the country will not have to undergo the mandatory quarantine if they passed the 14-day period after taking the doses of COVID-19 vaccines approved in Saudi Arabia.

Travelers must also possess a certificate of vaccination certified by their country of origin to be exempt from quarantine. 

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