The rollout of Covid-19 vaccination has been going very successfully in some countries including the United Kingdom. Almost half of the UK population has been vaccinated against Covid-19. While the larger percentage has received only the first dose/jab, waiting for the second, some of them have already had their second dose/jab.
Once one has already had the two jabs, thus first and second doses and certified as such by the issuance of a certificate, will the person still have to submit to another Covid-19 test prior to embarking on a foreign trip as well as on arrival in a foreign country?
Some countries and airlines require a traveller to provide Covid-19 Fit To Fly Certificate by submitting to an Antigen PCR Testing for Overseas Travel. One will only be issued this certificate when tested negative for Covid-19. The request for the provision of this certificate came into being when there was no vaccination against Covid-19 infection.
Now that people are being vaccinated, making them less infectious, less or non-transmittable of the disease, will such vaccinated people still be required to go for the exorbitantly priced Antigen PCR Testing for Overseas Travel?
“Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is an amplification technique for cloning the specific or targeted parts of a DNA sequence to generate thousands to millions of copies of DNA of interest. PCR tests are used to directly detect the presence of an antigen, rather than the presence of the body's immune response, or antibodies”.
The price ranges between £89.00 and £250.00 in the UK, depending where one goes for the test. In Ghana, and on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport, it costs US$150.00. On departure from Ghana, it costs between Ghs350.00 and Ghs500.00 to do the test to obtain the Fit-to-Fly Certificate. Here again, it depends where one goes for the test.
However, now that people are being vaccinated against Covid-19, in the hope of ridding the world of the Covid-19 pandemic, will those vaccinated and possessing certificates to the effect still have to go for the pricey Antigen PCR Testing for Overseas Travel?
Should the answer be yes, then the presupposing question is, what is the relevance of the vaccination, if not the certificate so issued? While the vaccination protects the person so vaccinated and makes them less or no infectious to others, the certificate attests to the current state or status of the holder vis-à-vis the deadly Covid-19 virus or disease.
In addition to the ongoing vaccinations, the UK government is providing the citizens with a pack of free “Healgen Antigen Test” kits. This enables each citizen to test themselves twice a week at home at their own volition to see if they have contracted Covid-19 or not. These kits are being issued because it is not all citizens that have yet been vaccinated.
The success story of the British (UK) government to have taken it very seriously as regards vaccinating the people, has made it possible for the UK to ease their lockdown restrictions with many businesses gone back into normal operations and people’s lives and activities back to normality as I write.
While those countries like France, Italy and Germany that have not taken the vaccinations very seriously are still on lockdown, the people of Britain or the UK are freer to go about their normal daily activities than those of the other countries mentioned above.
As at writing, I have my pack of 10 test kits in my lap and had had my first Astra Zeneca Covid-19 jab, waiting for the second in the coming weeks. Will I be compelled to go for any Fit-to-Fly Certificate by seeking a PCR test? Will my full Covid-19 Vaccination Passport (Certificate) to be issued to me after my second jab not be more than enough proof that I am either not infectious or less infectious?
I hope those who have genuine Covid-19 Vaccination Passports or Certificates should not be allowed to go for any other meaningless but more expensive test.
The mentioned free Covid-19 test kits that can be obtained from workplaces and pharmacies or chemists give results within 30 minutes. Is it not the same as those done at the Kotoka Airport?
Instead of paying US$150.00 at the airport, I will rather carry some of my free Test kits in addition to my Covid-19 Vaccination Passport or Certificate to do the test myself in front of the officials at the airport. There is no need paying for any costly but unnecessary tests after you have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and do possess additional free Covid-19 test kit which gives results as to whether you are negative or positive to the disease within 30 minutes.
I want the President and his NPP government and parliament to take note of this publication and deliberate over it. We can’t go through the vaccination and still be expected to continue to pay for Covid-19 tests at the airport.
The airlines operating on the London-Accra routes must please take note of this publication. The British and other foreign governments must please take note of it as well. Those who are in possession of authentic Covid-19 vaccination certificate issued after the holder’s second jab and additionally have a free test kit as explained above or not, should not be obliged to go for any expensive but now unnecessary Fit-to-Fly Test Certificate as said above.
Wednesday, 14 April 2021