Almost one million Ghanaians who had been injected with the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine that Akufo Addo went cup-in-hand to secure from Germany will make it almost impossible for the vaccine recipients to travel to the United Kingdom.
Fully vaccinated Ghanaians with the donated vaccines are regarded by UK authorities as “unvaccinated” and by October 4, 2021.
If they must however travel to the UK, they will be put on a 10-day quarantine which they will be forced to fork out over £2,200 to pay for.
These conditions are set to discourage many Ghanaian travellers who may be hoping to make short trips to the UK. The fact that the quarantine would be inconvenient for them for their supposed fully vaccinated status. The length of the quarantine and the £2, 200 cost will be just too much for many, except for rich business people and politicians.
James Cleverly, a Foreign Office minister in the UK confirmed on Twitter, Friday, September 17, 2021, that England has overhauled its Covid-19 travel rules, recognizing the vaccination status of travellers from only 17countries. The others will be quarantined, regardless of whether they were fully vaccinated in their home countries or not.
Ghana is not among the list of 17 countries. Only the countries listed below have their vaccine status as eligible for recognition in the UK: Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.
Ghana and many other countries have been put on the Red List of the UK travel directory.
The announcement reaffirms complaints made by the African Union early July 2021, when the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) voiced its “concern” after it emerged that Europe’s digital “green pass” does not recognize a vaccine that was donated to many African countries through the COVAX initiative.
The European Union Digital Covid Certificate enables people who have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine approved by its medicines regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), to travel freely within the bloc.
But the pass only recognizes AstraZeneca doses (branded Vaxzevria) made by EMA-approved manufacturers in Europe, the US, South Korea and China – not those manufactured by the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India (branded Covishield).
In July, the EMA told cable news CNN in a statement that Vaxzevria is only Covid-19 shot from AstraZeneca for which approval was requested — leading to its authorization in the EU.
“In the EU, the vaccine called Covishield does not currently have a marketing authorization. Even though it may use an analogous production technology to Vaxzevria, Covishield as such is not currently approved under EU rules,” the EMA said.
“This is because vaccines are biological products,” the agency stated. “Even tiny differences in the manufacturing conditions can result in differences in the final product, and EU law, therefore, requires the manufacturing sites and production process to be assessed and approved as part of the authorization process.”
Ghana received almost one million AstraZeneca vaccine “Covishield” through the COVAX platform from India and has recently secured some two million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines through the COVAX arrangement as well.
However, according to the UK directives, Ghanaians who receive two doses of these vaccines would be regarded as unvaccinated and not eligible to enter the UK without quarantine that cost some £2, 200.
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