Some Vincentians have already taken the full dose of the Russian made Sputnik V vaccine, which is yet to be approved by the World Health Organisation and a number of countries including the United States are not accepting persons in with the vaccine even if they are recognized as fully vaccinated among CARICOM countries.
The issue was raised on radio Sunday, prompting a response from medical practitioner and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat Assistant Secretary-General Vincentian Dr. Douglas Slater who considers the matter as unfortunate.
Russian news agency Interfax, on Sunday quoted the country’s health minister Michail(mee- kai oh) Murashako as saying that all barriers to register the vaccine have been cleared, however they are still awaiting some paperwork to be completed.
Dr. Slater noted that persons should not be discouraged and should still get vaccinated with the available vaccines including the Sputnik V which comes highly recommended among medical professionals across the world.
The United Kingdom had also indicated that it will not accept travellers entering the country with the Astrazeneca covishield vaccine. Dr. Slater explained the reason for this but noted that the issue has been resolved.
Also addressing the issue of how the yet to be approved vaccines may affect travelers was Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves who said that he has raised the issue with the relevant authorities about the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and Astrazeneca covishied vaccine and was satisfied with the feedback provided. The prime minister was however not too pleased with the UK placing SVG on its amber list.
Yesterday the UK relaxed its travel rules scrapping its amber list essentially reopening the country to millions of international passengers for quarantine-free travel.
The new measures aimed at making travel to the UK “easier and cheaper” have significantly reduced the burden for fully vaccinated passengers entering the country.
Fully vaccinated passengers arriving in England from approved countries and unvaccinated travellers under the age of 18 are not required to complete a pre-departure lateral flow test, take a day-eight post-arrival PCR test costing about £65, or self-isolate upon arrival.
The only covid requirement which remains is a single test taken two days after the arrival. The new system has swapped the old green, amber and red lists for a two-way scheme, which places countries either on the red list or off it. The changes came into effect at 4 am Monday October 4th.