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Any Vaccine Will Do!

This morning, the Regional Secretary for Health and Civil Protection, Pedro Ramos, announced that Madeira will accept visitors who have been vaccinated with the SinoPharm or Sinovac (China), Covaxin (India), Epivaccorona (Russia) or the Sovereign (Cuba), in addition, to the four vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency; BioTech Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen.  

In his statement, he said that the Regional Government will accept non-EU approved vaccines because   millions of people worldwide have been vaccinated with alternative vaccines, and therefore their degree of protection is similar to others. However, he said, the numbers of people travelling with Cuban, Chinese, Indian and Russian vaccines will be considerably smaller, as most countries have adopted and use the EU four (EU4).

When asked about those returning to Madeira, such as students and Madeiran residents living overseas, he said that until now he had been unaware that anyone had arrived having been inoculated with a non-EU4 vaccine, but, a PCR test has become an entry requirement, with a second test being carried out between the fifth and seventh day for all those who arrive in Madeira. 

With regards to the delta variant, he said that the transmission chains have increased from 10% to 20% but he could do nothing more than watch to see how the situation evolves.  He later confirmed that no one with the delta variant has been admitted to hospital.

The relaxation over the Chinese, Cuban, Indian and Russian vaccines is interesting, as both the Russian and Chinese vaccines contain live virus strains. Furthermore, according to a European source, even the Russians do not want the Russian vaccine!

Samantha Gannon

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