UK travel curbs hurt vaccine drive: Africa CDC

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
John Nkengasong, director of African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
John Nkengasong, director of African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Ima
  • Britain will not recognise vaccines administered in Africa - even if the jabs came from the country.
  • Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) head John Nkengasong said this sends a challenging message and could make people reluctant to get vaccinated.
  • Nkengasong said the Africa CDC will call on the UK to review the decision.

The African Union's health watchdog Thursday warned that Britain's pandemic travel restrictions could make people across the continent more reluctant to get vaccinated.

Under the restrictions, Britain only recognises vaccines administered in a few countries.

For most of the world, and all of Africa, Britain won't recognise locally-administered vaccines - even if the jabs came from Britain.

"If you send us vaccines and you say, 'we don't recognise those vaccines', it sends a very challenging message for us," said John Nkengasong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

That is "a message that creates confusion within our population... creating more reticence, reluctance for people to receive vaccines," he told a weekly news conference.

ALSO READ | SA still on UK's travel 'red list' - but industry bodies hope to change that

Under the rules that take effect on 4 October, travellers arriving into the UK from so-called "red" listed countries are required to quarantine in government-approved hotels even if they are vaccinated.

Travellers from countries not on the red list still face tougher restrictions, including additional testing and home isolation.

Nkengasong said:

We regret that the UK will take this position, and we really will call on them to review this.

Britain has been an active donor of coronavirus vaccines to Africa, sending more than five million shots to Africa, according to UN data.

Nkengasong feared that Africans will question why they should take vaccines, when some European countries are refusing to recognise those vaccines.

"That is clearly not acceptable," he said. "We should be raising our voices against such behaviours, that is not what we need for this pandemic."

The UK approach creates a stigma around locally administered vaccines, he said, and "will lead to eventually harming efforts of what we are doing in Africa".

Some African countries are facing a Covid-19 resurgence as the continent lags in the global vaccination drive, with just four percent of its 1.3-billion population fully innoculated.


We want to hear your views on the news. Subscribe to News24 to be part of the conversation in the comments section of this article.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Should Proteas star Quinton de Kock continue playing at the T20 World Cup even if he doesn't take the knee in support of the fight against racism?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes! He should be allowed to show his support any way he chooses
38% - 1727 votes
No! If De Kock refuses to unite with his teammates, then he should be on the next plane home
12% - 560 votes
The only ones at fault here are Cricket SA, who have sabotaged another Proteas World Cup
49% - 2236 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.04
-1.4%
Rand - Pound
20.67
-1.3%
Rand - Euro
17.44
-1.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.30
-1.7%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-1.7%
Gold
1,797.45
+0.2%
Silver
24.08
-0.4%
Palladium
1,961.98
-2.4%
Platinum
1,013.00
-1.8%
Brent Crude
86.40
+0.5%
Top 40
60,874
-0.3%
All Share
67,475
-0.2%
Resource 10
63,082
-0.9%
Industrial 25
87,253
+0.1%
Financial 15
14,054
+0.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE