Economy

Kenya, UK in talks over Covid-19 vaccine certificates approval hitch

Covid vaccination

Kenya targets to vaccinate 30 million out of 49.7 million Kenyans to set up the country on a strong path to herd immunity. PHOTO | AFP

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Summary

  • The UK is working with Kenya to approve Covid-19 vaccine certificate issued by Kenyan officials.
  • There had been fears that new British travel rules would not allow Kenyans into the UK despite getting the recommended Covid 19 jabs.
  • These new rules, which were unveiled by Britain last week on Friday, become effective today.

The UK is working with Kenya to approve Covid-19 vaccine certificate issued by Kenyan officials.

There had been fears that new British travel rules would not allow Kenyans into the UK despite getting the recommended Covid 19 jabs.

These new rules, which were unveiled by Britain last week on Friday, become effective today.

Wednesday, British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Mariott Howe and Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said in a joint statement that they are establishing a system to mutually recognise each other’s vaccine certificates.

They, however said the vaccine passport programme for travel could take time, meaning Kenyan travellers to the UK would have to wait longer to benefit from the system.

“At present, neither country has completed the process of recognising the other country’s vaccine certificates," said Ms Howe and Kagwe in a joint statement.

"We are working as fast as possible to ensure this happens so travel is as smooth as possible for our peoples."

Both officials, however maintained jabs administered in Kenya are recognised in the UK.

“There has been significant public concern about the issue of vaccine certification. We want to make it clear that both the UK and Kenya recognise vaccines administered in both countries: Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson. It is false to state that vaccines administered in either country are ‘unapproved’," they said.

Under the new British rules, only people who have got both shots of a double dose vaccine such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna or the single shot Janssen vaccine “under an approved vaccination programme” will be considered fully vaccinated.

Under the rules, travellers from Kenya would now be allowed into the UK in what has been touted as a fresh boost for tourism, which is in peak season.