NIGERIANS travelling to the UK will still be isolated for seven days for the foreseeable future as the British government yet to comprehensively review Nigeria’s vaccination certification programme.
According to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), although the vaccines administered in Nigeria were approved by the UK government, they have been thoroughly reviewed. NPHCDA executive director, Dr Faisal Shuaib, added that UK officials were also involved with the vaccination programme in Nigeria through the Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office.
He said, however, that the NPHCDA was optimistic that by the time Nigeria’s Covid-19 vaccination programme certification was assessed, it would be approved by the UK government. In addition, Dr Shuaib also pointed out that in recent weeks, the agency had intensified campaigns for the uptake of second dose using multiple media strategies, stakeholders, and community engagements.
Dr Shuaib said: “Nigeria’s status has not changed and we are not among the listed countries that need mandatory quarantine for 14 days in a supervised UK facility. The statement released by the UK government is in line with the statement released last week that Nigerians will continue to isolate upon arrival to the UK, which is similar to our requirement to have travellers from the UK isolate for seven days upon arrival in Nigeria.
“The Presidential Steering Committee is in the process of reviewing these requirements and we have been in touch with the UK government. Just like they stated clearly in their communication, the current listing of countries with approved vaccination certification has just started in the UK.
“They are reviewing the country’s programmes in phases and if you go through the list of 50 closely, no African country made the list. Once it gets to our turn, we are more likely than not to get approved in the coming weeks, so like the UK government has clearly stated, the process of assessment would occur in phases.”