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17 Jan, 2022 05:29

Australia opens borders for people vaccinated with Sputnik V

Travelers who have taken advantage of Russia's pioneering Covid jab may now enter the land down under
Australia opens borders for people vaccinated with Sputnik V

The Australian government has officially allowed visitors who can prove they have been fully vaccinated with Russia's Sputnik V Covid vaccine to enter the country, starting from Monday.

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) said it reviewed data provided by Moscow which shows that the vaccine “provides protection and potentially reduces the likelihood that an incoming traveler would transmit Covid-19 infection to others while in Australia or become acutely unwell due to Covid-19.”

“The data indicated that two doses of the Sputnik V (Gamaleya Institute) showed an average efficacy against symptomatic infection of 89% and against hospitalization or death of 98-100%,” the regulator said in a statement on its website.

The recognition of Sputnik will expand options for the return of international students, travel of skilled and unskilled workers to Australia, and travel by business people and elite sports people to our country.

Vaccination with Sputnik Light, the single-dose version of Sputnik V, will not be considered proof of full vaccination as of yet, the TGA noted.

Created by Moscow’s Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Sputnik V became the world’s first registered Covid-19 vaccine in 2020. It has since been authorized for emergency use in around 70 countries.

Canberra’s strict vaccination rules were in the spotlight ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament, which kicked off on Monday. Russia’s Natalia Vikhlyantseva announced last month that she would not be playing because Australia did not recognize Sputnik V at the time. 

The world’s top-ranked men’s player and defending champion, Novak Djokovic, had his visa canceled and was deported from Australia on Sunday. Djokovic, who is unvaccinated and has spoken out against vaccination in the past, admitted to breaching quarantine rules and unwittingly providing false information to the Australian border officials when entering the country to play at the tournament.

Djokovic’s detention by the Australian immigration authorities sparked protests by his fans in the country and abroad.