The United Kingdom has spoken on its vaccination rules against African countries such as Nigeria. On 19th September, the UK announced that any travelers who had not received their vaccines from a shortlist of approved countries (primarily North America and Europe), would be considered unvaccinated.
This rule would also be applied to people who were vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca shots. These are the same vaccines widely used in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom also donated some of these vaccines to the African countries but announced they would not recognize those vaccines. The announcement was heavily criticized as being“racist” and “unfair.”
Following the criticism, the British High Commission introduced new COVID-19 travelling protocols. Catriona Laing, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, posted a statement. The statement addressed the fact that they donated some vaccines to Nigeria.
“The UK is committed to global access to vaccines and is among the largest funders of COVAX. The UK has donated 1.2 million vaccines specifically to Nigeria through COVAX and will continue to provide support.”
The statement also addressed the reports claiming that COVID-19 vaccines administered in Nigeria were not recognized in the UK.
“I would like to emphasize that any statements that COVID-19 vaccines administered in Nigeria are not approved by the UK are completely untrue. The Uk recognizes the Oxford Astra-Zeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines used in Nigeria, irrespective of where they are manufactured.” the statement read.
The statement also spoke about the rules concerning international travel from Nigeria to the UK.
“The UK is committed to opening up international travel and we are using our COVID-19 vaccination certification process to enable those wishing to enter the UK to do so safely. We know this matters hugely to many people in the UK and in Nigeria – the extensive people ties between our two countries are at the heart of our bilateral relationship.”
A new and simpler procedure would be introduced from October 4, 2021.
“From 4 October, the current system will be simplified. There will be a single red list of countries and territories where stricter rules apply, and there will also be a “rest of the world” list with simplified travel measures. The “rest of the world” list will include countries currently on the UK’s amber list such as Nigeria.”
Nigeria currently has a reported 204,456 cases of COVID-19 with 2,678 deaths. About 4,024,704 Nigerians have received one dose of the vaccine while 1,687,315 have been fully vaccinated.
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