More than 50 Russian citizens travel to Croatia each day in order to receive the injection that has been approved for use by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
At the moment, only the Sputnik V vaccine is provided by the Russian authorities in the country. However, since those who were fully immunized against COVID-19 with this vaccine dose are not eligible for unrestricted travel to the EU, most have decided to take an EMA-approved booster dose.
Croatia is one of the countries offering free vaccines to everyone, including foreigners, which has led to a significant increase in flights from Russia to Croatia as more Russians are willing to receive a widely recognized vaccine within the European Union, TheSchengen.com reports. .
All EU member states have strict entry rules for travelers who have been vaccinated with Sputnik. Those who received the Sputnik vaccine are obliged to undergo testing and self-isolation rules upon arrival in the majority of EU/Schengen area countries. In some cases, they are also subject to a dual test requirement.
Therefore, in order to avoid extensive entry procedures as well as being able to travel freely throughout Europe, Russians are arriving in other countries that offer widely recognized vaccines.
From April to October 2021, 4,908 foreigners, mostly Russians, were vaccinated here. The head of the vaccination center in Croatia, Dr. Nida Ferencic Vrban, told France24: “Only this month we have had about 1,000 Russians who have received vaccinations.
The Sputnik V vaccine has not yet been approved by the EMA or the World Health Organization (WHO) because the vaccine manufacturer has not provided all the information required for the review that is due by the end of this month.
>> The European Union postpones the approval of the fifth Russian vaccine, Sputnik, until next year
As a result, since the vaccine has not been given the green light by either the EMA or the World Health Organization, travelers from Russia as well as at least one million EU citizens are unable to travel to the United States. This is because the US Food and Drug Administration only accepts vaccines approved by the EMA and WHO as valid evidence of travel immunity.
Similar to the United States, not all EU/Schengen area countries that accept only EMA and WHO approved vaccine doses allow unrestricted entry to Russian citizens and citizens of other countries that have received the Sputnik vaccine.
Among the EU/Schengen area countries, only Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia, Hungary and Slovakia allow entry for travelers who are immune to Sputnik.
Given that every country has different requirements regarding the vaccination status of travelers, it is suggested that everyone check the validity of their vaccine before traveling abroad. This can be done by using the VisaGuide.World Vaccine Check Tool, which allows everyone to check if their vaccine is recognized by their destination country.
According to data provided by Reuter’s Immunization Tracker, only 35.6 percent of the adult population in Russia has been fully vaccinated. On the other hand, about 42.6 percent received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Due to low vaccination rates, cases of COVID-19 increased sharply in Russia. In the past 24 hours alone, the country reported 36,818 new cases and 1,240 deaths.