The United Kingdom (UK) government has announced to recognize NADRA-issued COVID-19 vaccination certificates of Pakistani travelers coming to the country.
However, the vaccination certificates will be valid only for the Coronavirus vaccines approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK’s apex healthcare regulator, which are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson (J&J).
Pakistani travelers possessing vaccination certificates of MHRA-approved Coronavirus vaccines will be exempted from quarantine and testing requirements under the ‘Amber List’ after arrival in the UK.
Chinese Vaccines Not Approved
Since the MHRA has not approved Chinese COVID-19 vaccines, travelers possessing Coronavirus vaccination certificates of Chinese vaccines will be subject to quarantine and testing requirements under the Amber List after arriving in the UK.
It must be noted here that Pakistan has mostly relied on Chinese COVID-19 vaccines developed by Sinopharm, Sinovac, and CanSinoBIO to vaccinate its citizens in the ongoing countrywide mass vaccination campaign.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved Sinopharm and Sinovac, CanSinoBIO has received a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certificate from the Hungarian National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (OGYEI). Surprisingly, these three Coronavirus vaccines are not good enough to be approved by the MHRA.
Besides Pakistan, the British government has also decided to recognize COVID-19 vaccination certificates of MHRA-approved vaccines of travelers of 17 countries including Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
Confirming the development while speaking with a local news channel in this regard, British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Christian Turner, said that COVID-19 vaccination certificates issued by NADRA will be recognized in the UK from now on.
He added that Chinese COVID-19 vaccines are still not recognized in the UK, therefore, Pakistani travelers vaccinated with them must adhere to Amber List requirements after landing in the country.
The High Commissioner lamented that the UK’s decision to keep Pakistan on the ‘Red List’ for an extended period of time despite a significant drop in the number of Coronavirus cases was highly disappointing.
He said that the decision negatively impacted thousands of British Pakistanis and disrupted people-to-people contact between the two countries.
Placement on UK’s Red List
Earlier this year in April, the UK government had placed Pakistan and India on its Red List due to a sharp increase in Coronavirus cases in both countries.
Later in August, the British government announced to retain Pakistan on Red List but decided to move India up to the Amber List despite it being the origin of the rampant Delta variant of Coronavirus and having a much worse COVID-19 situation than Pakistan.
After severe backlash, the UK government said that the decision was based on facts and data. However, Pakistan’s government wrote an official letter to it that compared different COVID-19 indicators of Pakistan and other regional countries, exposing its claims.
As a result, the British government in September announced to remove Pakistan from the Red List and moved it to Amber List
Via: Geo News