sinovac vaccination
TGA’s approval of China's Sinovac and India-made AstraZeneca jabs paves the way for international students who have received those jabs to return to Australia. Source: Ryad Kramdi/AFP

Here’s some welcome news for Chinese and Indian international students hoping to return to Australia. The Therapeutic Goods Administration — Australia’s drug regulator — considers China’s Sinovac vaccine a “recognised vaccine” for incoming travellers. The agency also considers Covidshield Astra Zeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India as a “recognised” vaccine.

This could pave the way for Indian and Chinese students to return to Australia ahead of the country’s international borders reopening. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the decision by the TGA was a “major milestone” that would allow authorities to determine international travellers as being appropriately vaccinated, reported The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Declaring certain COVID-19 vaccines as ‘recognised vaccines’ is separate to a regulatory decision on whether they are approved for use for vaccination in Australia, which has not been made by the TGA,” he said. Other vaccines approved by TGA include AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The TGA has yet to recommend approving China’s other major vaccine, Sinopharm.