UK vaccine border rules ignore Africa’s track record, WHO says

30 September 2021 - 18:30 By Janice Kew
'Anything that prevents the free movement of people, particularly during this time when countries are struggling to put their economies back on track, is something we should avoid globally,' says Richard Mihigo.
'Anything that prevents the free movement of people, particularly during this time when countries are struggling to put their economies back on track, is something we should avoid globally,' says Richard Mihigo.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo

The UK’s refusal to recognise visitors as vaccinated unless they received their shots in a handful of select countries doesn’t take into account Africa’s track record of robust inoculation programmes.

This is according to Richard Mihigo, head of immunisation and vaccine development at the World Health Organisation's Africa office.

“It looks like the issue is not the vaccines themselves, but the documentation around the vaccines,” Mihigo said in a briefing on Thursday. “Africa has huge experience in rolling out vaccines - we’ve eradicated viruses on the continent and many diseases are under control.”

The measures apply to visitors who have had a vaccine approved and used in the UK, such as the Pfizer Inc-BioNTech SE and AstraZeneca Plc shots.

“Anything that prevents the free movement of people, particularly during this time when countries are struggling to put their economies back on track, is something we should avoid globally,” Mihigo said.

For more stories like this, visit bloomberg.com.


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