The United Kingdom has reversed its stance concerning the status of COVID vaccines administered in Nigeria, saying it recognises the medications.
Catriona Laing, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, provided the clarification in a statement issued by British High Commission on Saturday following an earlier statement made by the UK authorities.
A statement issued earlier last week by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office website placing Nigeria on the list of amber countries, adding that persons vaccinated administered in Africa, South America and outside the European Union would still need to undergo full quarantine upon arrival in the UK, as compared to those vaccinated in Britain, the United States and the EU.
But Laing in a statement on Saturday explained that such assumptions and understanding of the guidelines were inaccurate, noting that the UK has donated 1.2 million doses to Nigeria via the Federal Government.
“The UK is committed to global access to vaccines, and is among the largest funders to COVAX. The UK has donated 1.2 million vaccines specifically to Nigeria through COVAX and will continue to provide support.
“The UK strongly supports the work of the Nigerian health authorities and Nigeria’s vaccination campaign, and strongly encourages all eligible residents in Nigeria to get vaccinated. Only once we are all vaccinated can we end the spread of Covid-19.
“I would like to emphasise that any statements that COVID-19 vaccines administered in Nigeria are not approved by the UK are completely untrue. The UK recognises the Oxford-Astra Zeneca, Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines used in Nigeria, irrespective of where they are manufactured,” the statement quoted the High Commissioner as saying.
On the rules concerning international travel to the UK, laying said: “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-people ties between our two countries are at the heart of our bilateral relationship.”
According to her, from October 4, there will be a single red list of countries and territories where stricter rules apply, and 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,” she clarified.