Reaction To UK’s New Policy That Undermines Nigeria’s Vaccination Programme

No African country is included in the list of countries whose vaccine certificate is recognized by the UK. This has led many Nigerians to question the validity of the vaccines administered in the country.

Nigerians on social media have reacted to the new UK vaccination policy, which fails to formally recognise Nigeria’s COVID-19 vaccine certificate, a new vaccine policy has revealed.

“Such a waste of effort,” A DJ simply known as DJ Obi commented in an Instagram comment section.

Another Instagram user, tomvis53 said “why is the government quiet about this? Please, something should be done as quickly as possible.”

“This is disgusting, I knew how much I suffered to get vaccinated in Lagos, only for it to be unrecognized.” Snoopmilly, on Instagram said.

Another Instagram user who goes by deolla said: “I have taken the vaccine.. Please, I do not want to hear that it is not valid.”

The UK in its newly released vaccine policy says that the traffic light system which had put Nigeria in the amber list no longer applies; now, there is only “a single red list and the rest of the world.”

Although the traffic light system of green, amber and red has been scrapped, there is a list of over  60 countries whose vaccine certificate has been declared as “recognized” by the UK; Nigeria is not mentioned in this list and neither are there any African countries on the list.

People traveling from the listed countries only have to provide their certificates as proof of vaccination while “Fully vaccinated residents in other countries not yet part of the inbound policy, as well as those partially vaccinated, will still have to take a pre-departure test, PCR tests for day 2 and day 8 after arrival, and self-isolate for 10 days, with the option to test to release after 5 days.”

“The UK government is continuing to work with international partners as we seek to more regularly expand the policy to further countries and territories,” a statement on their website, read in part.

The Implications of UK’s new vaccine policy

What the UK has done with its latest policy is to “simplify” travel processes as it pertains to COVID-19.

For Nigerians, this means that they are mandated to take three tests: pre-departure test, PCR tests for day 2 and day 8 after they have arrived in the UK. They are also required to self isolate for 10 days (with an option to come out of isolation after 5 days, but only after another test has been conducted). Nigerians will be subjected to the aforementioned tests, regardless of their vaccination status.

But people under 18 years from any of the “approved” countries will henceforth, not need to present a negative PDT test before traveling to the UK.

British High Commission reassures Nigeria of a possible change

In a statement released on its official Twitter handle, the British High Commission in Nigeria said: “we understand that there has been some frustration that the new UK travel rule will continue to require people traveling to the UK from Nigeria to quarantine despite having received two doses of recognized Covid-19 vaccines in Nigeria.”

The Commission also said that it is working with other countries in order to recognize their vaccine certificates, including Nigeria.

“In the spirit of our long term partnership, we are working with Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to ensure that this happens as soon as possible.”

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Chigozie Victor

Chigozie Victor is a journalist and a creative writer. Her work focuses on SGBV, policy and security infrastructure. The graduate of English and Literature from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka is passionate about helping audiences understand salient issues through clear reporting and multimedia journalism. She tweets at @nwaanyi_manaria

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