Hanna urges Gov't to act on vaccine non-recognitionTuesday, September 21, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Opposition Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Lisa Hanna says she is deeply concerned about the United Kingdom's non-recognition of the COVID-19 vaccine status of Jamaicans arriving in that country.
On Monday, concerns brewed after a raft of new measures published on the UK government's website — to take effect on October 4 at 4:00 am — revealed that the UK does not recognise fully vaccinated Jamaicans who intend to travel there.
In a statement early Tuesday, Hanna said the Government must immediately utilise all diplomatic channels, including the World Health Organization (WHO), to ensure that Jamaica's vaccination programme, including the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine doses, is approved and appropriate recognition codes issued for Jamaica.
"We must act with utmost urgency using all resources available to clear up any outstanding issues required for the validation and registration of our current national vaccine protocols, in the shortest possible time. This is critical, especially since our major trading partner, the United States, has also signalled their own vaccine protocols for entry across their borders." Hanna said.
Hanna said her information is that some Caricom member countries have already received such codes and clearance.
"The government, therefore, has an overriding obligation to ensure that Jamaica gets the requisite status through our diplomatic goodwill and the expertise of our negotiators," she said.
But, Jamaica's Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Kamina Johnson-Smith, had already indicated on Monday that the government has moved to have discussions with the UK government on its new travel measures.
Hanna once again encouraged all Jamaicans to protect themselves by adhering to the COVID-19 protocols and to get vaccinated.