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UK Recognises AstraZeneca, Other COVID-19 Vaccines Used In Nigeria, Says Envoy

Nigeria launched the second phase of its COVID-19 vaccination programme on August 16, 2021.

 

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has faulted the claims that the United Kingdom does not approve of the COVID-19 vaccines used in the country.

In previous months, the Nigerian Government has received millions of doses of vaccines by different manufacturers such as the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, Moderna, as well as Johnson and Johnson (J&J).

Amid reports that the British government does not recognise some of the vaccines administered to people in Nigeria, Laing described the claim as false.

“The UK is committed to global access to vaccines, and is among the largest funders to COVAX,” she said in a statement on Saturday. “The UK has donated 1.2 million vaccines specifically to Nigeria through COVAX and will continue to provide support.

“I would like to emphasise that any statement that COVID-19 vaccines administered in Nigeria are not approved by the UK are completely untrue. The UK recognises the Oxford AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines used in Nigeria, irrespective of where they are manufactured.”

According to the British envoy, the UK strongly supports the work of the Nigerian health authorities and the nation’s vaccination campaign.

She added that the UK had encouraged all eligible residents in Nigeria to get vaccinated, saying that was the only way to end the spread of COVID-19.

Laing also spoke about rules concerning international travel to the UK, noting that the British government remained committed to opening up international travel.

The UK, she said, is using its COVID-19 vaccination certification process to enable those wishing to enter the country to do so safely.

“We know this matters hugely to many people in the UK and in Nigeria – the extensive people-to-people ties between our two countries are at the heart of our bilateral relationship,” the British envoy explained. “From October 4, 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 stated that travel rules were kept under regular review and those planning a UK trip must be aware of the latest information and requirements.

Akinola Ajibola

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