Nadhim Zahawi. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
THE double-jab status of some UK citizens vaccinated overseas was not recognised by the NHS though ministers had promised that the system would be changed to enable them to do so by July-end, reported The Guardian.
Earlier, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi had reassured MPs that the government was working quickly to help those who were inoculated overseas but registered with a GP in the UK.
He added that those who have been vaccinated overseas need only to talk to their GPs, and following a simple check their vaccine record will be updated, enabling them to prove their double-jabbed status.
But, the department of health and social care has admitted to The Guardian that the change earmarked to happen by the end of July had not yet come into force.
“Only Covid-19 vaccines administered in England and Wales can currently be shown through the NHS Covid pass. We recognise there are a large variety of Covid-19 vaccines being administered worldwide and work is ongoing to determine which non-UK vaccines and certification solutions to recognise,” a spokesperson told the newspaper.
The government is already urging some venues such as nightclubs to use the NHS app’s Covid pass, which only displays people’s vaccine status if they were jabbed in the UK.
“It was yet another case of ministers over-promising and then failing to deliver, leaving many people still unable to obtain a Covid pass after being told they’d be able to. Those who live abroad and have done the right thing by getting vaccinated will feel let down by the government’s failure to find a solution,” Liz Kendall, the shadow health minister, told The Guardian.
“Ministers need to be straight with the public and provide clarity about progress on a globally recognised international vaccine passport – working with the EU and US to get travel moving again.”
Caroline Lucas, the Green MP and vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on coronavirus, said people who received recognised vaccines abroad were being let down by the government’s mixed messages and broken promises.
She added: “There should be a swift action to make the NHS pass compatible with international systems and ensure those who were told they could use it are able to and that ministers should be clear and consistent in their advice to avoid further damaging public trust”.
This week, the government changed rules to let in those who have been double-jabbed in Europe and the US with the vaccines approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.
However, arrivals from overseas are locked out of using the NHS app for domestic certification to prove they have been vaccinated, the report added.