The UK’s refusal to recognise Covid-19 vaccines administered in most parts of the world tells other countries it isn’t ready to work internationally on ways to end the pandemic, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
One upshot is that a person in Africa who received a vaccine distributed by the UK won’t be recognised as such by the donor country.
"If you send us vaccines and we use those vaccines, and you say you don’t recognise people that have been immunised, it sends a very challenging message for us," John Nkengasong, the Africa CDC’s director, told reporters Thursday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
His comments add to mounting criticism of the UK’s latest border policy, which states visitors will only be classified as vaccinated if they got doses in select countries such as the US, Australia and Israel. The rule applies even if the person received a shot approved and used in the UK, such as versions produced by Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
"It’s a message that creates confusion within our own population and a message that doesn’t really speak to solidarity and cooperation," Nkengasong said. "We completely don’t understand why the UK has taken this position."