By Chioma Obinna
The World Medical Association, WMA, on Monday called for an end to travel discrimination over certain vaccines that are not being recognised across the world.
In an emergency resolution of its Council’s virtual meeting , the WMA said that citizens of some countries are experiencing serious complications in travelling as their vaccinations are not accepted as proof of full protection.
“Many countries accept only a certain set of vaccines considered as suitable protection, while other vaccines are not recognized.”
The medical doctors said the situation was leading to an effective discrimination against travellers who have been vaccinated.
“It is restricting international cooperation and business, disadvantaging mainly poorer countries and regions. In some cases it has led to requests from vaccinated people for a third and fourth dose, this time of vaccines accepted as providing the necessary level of protection.
“The WMA is now calling on all governments to immediately adapt fair, harmonized and non-discriminatory rules to enable safe and equal travel opportunities, and to inform the public, if serious concerns about specific vaccines hinder their acceptance.”
According to them, The WMA understands the reluctance of pharmaceutical authorities to allow the market introduction of vaccines for which an authorisation has not been applied in their jurisdiction, or which are still in the process of authorization, or may have been rejected because their ethical or technical standards of testing or production do not meet the required standards.
“But it considers it necessary to evaluate Covid-19 vaccines as a reliable travel measure of protection on the basis only of their effectiveness against infection and severe illness by SARS-CoV 2. By now there are enough data to assess vaccines based on their protective effect, regardless of their marketing authorization. Should vaccines be deemed not to be effective, and therefore not be acceptable as protection, the reasons for such decision should be made public.”