The Federal Government has explained that Nigeria is not among red-listed countries, whose citizens require compulsory quarantine for 14 days in a supervised UK facility.
This was in response to the statement by the UK government on Monday that Nigerians would continue to isolate upon arrival to the country.
Speaking during a COVID-19 vaccination update in Abuja, Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, noted that Nigeria’s status has not changed.
“This is similar to our requirement to have travellers from the UK to isolate for seven days upon arrival in Nigeria,” he said.
Shuaib said that the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 is in the process of reviewing requirements and is 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. If you go through the list of 50 closely, no African country made the list.
“The UK government is yet to comprehensively review Nigeria’s vaccination certification programme. From my communication with UK government officials, the UK government approves the vaccines administered in Nigeria. They are also involved with the vaccination programme in Nigeria through the Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) and they are optimistic that by the time Nigeria’s COVID-19 vaccination programme certification is assessed, it will be approved.”
“There are many countries in the world. So, we, like many other countries, are in the queue for this assessment. Once it gets to our turn, we are, more likely than not, to get approved in the coming weeks. As the UK government has clearly stated, the process of assessment would occur in phases,” he added.
Also speaking, the World Health Organisation Country Representative, Dr Walter Mulombo Kazadi, applauded Nigeria on vaccine distribution. He said other countries would come to Nigeria to learn the act of vaccine distribution.
The United Nations Children’s Fund Nigeria Representative, Peter Hawkins, noted that Nigeria still has to increase the number of people vaccinated per day from 100,000 to 300,000 if it must meet the target.
Hawkins, who was represented at the occasion by Dr. Dorothy Ochola, noted that the number of people vaccinated every day has increased the daily average to about 100,000.
He urged that the COVID-19 vaccine should be integrated into routine immunisation so that it can be easily accessed.