The World Health Organisation (WHO) has frowned at countries who require covid-19 vaccination proof before gaining entry or exit from their countries.
WHO Nigeria Country Representative, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo hinted this at a Press Briefing on Covid-19 Response on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 in Abuja.
TheFact Nigeria noted that this was coming on the heels of new travel guidelines announced by the United Kingdom (UK) government which will affect African countries like Nigeria.
Dr. Kazadi said WHO updated it’s guidance on travel on July 2, 2021, which maintained that it did not recommend covid-19 vaccination proofs for travels, because vaccines were still in short supply, he said:
“WHO does not recommend making proof of COVID-19 vaccination a mandatory condition for entry to or exit from a country, but countries can consider lifting testing and/or quarantine requirements for international travellers who have been fully vaccinated.
“Although people who are fully vaccinated or those who were previously infected may still be able to be re-infected and transmit the virus, growing evidence shows that this risk is substantially lowered so they present a lowered risk to others in the country they are entering.
“These individuals are at lower risk of developing disease and consequently do not impose an increased strain on health systems in the destination country.
“However, WHO’s recommendation that entry should not be restricted to those who are vaccinated still stands: proof of vaccination should not be a pre-requisite for travel and may deepen inequities, particularly while the vaccines continue to be in such short supply.
“No region or country should face more restrictions because they are unable to access vaccines”, said the WHO Country Representative.
He further urged countries to respect the principles of the International Health Regulations (IHR) that vaccines must be approved by WHO and be of suitable quality and universally available before they could be considered as a prerequisite for travel.
Dr. Kazadi Mulombo also stated that if someone was fully vaccinated with any of the vaccines with WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL), they should be treated in the same way, regardless of which vaccine they received.