The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has reacted to claims that the United Kingdom does not recognize the Covid-19 vaccines being administered in Nigeria.
In a clarification to the report, Laing debunked such statement, describing it as completely untrue and should be disregarded, according to ThisDay.
She stated that the UK approves the vaccines currently in use in Nigeria irrespective of the manufacturer adding that it has also moved Nigeria to the “rest of the world” travel list in its travel rule billed to take effect from October 4, 2021. The countries on the “rest of the world” list, have simplified travel measures.
She also said that the UK has so far donated 1.2 million vaccines to Nigeria through COVAX and will continue to support the country in accessing COVID-19 vaccines.
What the British High Commissioner to Nigeria is saying
Catriona Laing in her statement encouraged all eligible Nigerians to get vaccinated to help stop the spread of the virus.
She said, “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.”
On international travel rules to the UK, the high commissioner said the UK is using the Covid-19 vaccination certification process to ensure people enter the country safely adding that the current travel system would be simplified from October 4, with Nigeria added to the ‘’rest of the world’’ list with simplified travel measures.
“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 these matters hugely to many people in the UK and Nigeria – the extensive people-people ties between our two countries are at the heart of our bilateral relationship.
“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,” she said.
What you should know
Recall that there was an earlier report that a statement credited to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office website placed Nigeria on the list of amber countries.
The report said that the UK travel rules also required that vaccinated individuals from Nigeria and other countries must undergo Covid-19 tests before travelling and quarantine on arrival in UK.
Also, the UK Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, had on September 17, 2021, announced a simplified system for international travel due to the success of the country’s domestic vaccine rollout that provides greater stability for industry and passengers.