Israel to Recognize Russia’s Sputnik V COVID Vaccine

A vial of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). (Reuters/Mohammed Salem/File Photo)

Israel will allow tourists vaccinated with Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to enter Israel next month.

Starting in the middle of November, Israel will allow entry to visitors inoculated with the Sputnik V vaccine, in a policy shift for the country, which until now has only recognized immunizations approved by the FDA.

Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash confirmed the move to Army Radio on Wednesday and and said those who have been vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine will have to undergo a serology test, in addition to the standard PCR tests that all visitors must take before boarding their incoming flight and upon arriving in Israel.

The serology test, which detects antibodies, will verify that those who enter the country really are inoculated against the coronavirus, he said.

The announcement comes only days after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The decision, which will go into effect on Nov. 15, was made during a meeting held Tuesday night between Bennett and senior health officials.

Although Israel is not approving Sputnik V, allowing people to travel into Israel with the vaccination as part of its stringent travel outline is a de facto recognition of the jab.