Kenya warns of 'vaccine apartheid' as it hits back at the UK over travel ban move

April 07, 2021 at 16:18

(CNN) Kenya has sounded the alarm over a potential coronavirus "vaccine apartheid" playing out between countries, as it accused the United Kingdom of instituting a "discriminatory policy" after London issued a travel ban on the east African nation.
Nairobi hit back Saturday against London's decision on Friday to add Kenya to its coronavirus travel 'red list' and announced its own measures on travelers coming from the UK.
Kenyan citizens who live in the UK and cargo flights are, however, exempt from these measures.
They say that all travelers who have been in or through Kenya in the previous 10 days will be refused entry to England.
However, the UK has seen far more deaths throughout the pandemic than Kenya.
An urgent need for vaccinesAmid the row over the travel ban, some Kenyans -- including those in government -- are highlighting the vaccine disparity between London and Nairobi on social media.
First came Vaccine Nationalism now we have Vaccine Apartheid," while sharing the Kenyan Foreign Ministry's press statement on the UK travel ban on Twitter.
The UK -- with a population of around 66 million people -- has more than 400 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from eight candidates on order.
It is currently administering the Oxford/AstraZeneca and BioNTech/Pfizer vaccines and announced Wednesday it will begin a rollout of the Moderna vaccine too.
Kenya received its first shipment of vaccines -- 1.02 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot -- via the global COVAX program.
"It is the only substantial amount of vaccine we've received so we absolutely welcome it and we celebrate it even.
Global charity Oxfam, with other members of the People's Vaccine Alliance, a network of campaigning NGOs, also called for an end to 'vaccine apartheid'.