UK’s approved list of vaccines a ‘colonial hangover’: Asad Umar

Earlier this week, UK government released list of 68 countries that have approved vaccination programs for travellers to enter the country

Federal Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Minister Asad Umar has expressed his displeasure at the exclusive approval of American vaccines for travel to the United Kingdom (UK), despite there being other World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccines in the market.

Umar tweeted screenshots of articles from international media, which showcased the menace of fake vaccination certificates to meet UK’s demands of being vaccinated with a US produced brand only. The minister said that UK had decided that certificates that were labelled with a vaccine produced by ‘white people’ were acceptable, whereas those with Chinese vaccines were not. He added that this was despite WHO having approved Chinese brands as well.

Umar further questioned whether the preference for US vaccines demonstrated a ‘colonial hangover’ on UK’s part, instead of valid health concerns.

This week, the UK government published a list of 68 countries from where travellers would be welcomed, as those countries have approved vaccination programs. If travellers were not from an approved country, they would have to be fully vaccinated with either of four approved US vaccines, namely Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen. The final dose must be administered 14 days before entering the UK.

UK isn’t the only country that has mandated the use of US-only vaccines for travel. Canada also has the same four US vaccines on the list of approved formulations, which would exempt travellers from mandatory hotel quarantine.