The decision not to verify vaccinations administered outside of the CTA is needlessly inflexible, according to Catja Carrell, who is unable to secure a vaccine certificate after receiving her second jab in the US.
"I am writing this letter in response to the CCA’s decision not to accept/verify my vaccination which I received in May 2021 in the US. This decision is unfair and unreasonable and also reflective of the burdensome travel rules still in place despite the high rate of vaccinated individuals on the island.
In May 2021 we travelled to the US to visit family, having concluded that the travel rules were going to remain strict and accepting the requirement of a 14-day quarantine upon return. At the time, the vaccination rate in Guernsey was still low and people were itching to get their vaccination letter.
In the US vaccines were freely available and both my husband and I received the Pfizer jabs (he got both doses there, I received my second dose). In our minds, this would free up three doses for islanders and we naturally expected that a Pfizer jab would be accepted by the Guernsey authorities!
My family understands the need for strict rules and we have so far accepted them without question. I do not diminish the efforts and long hours invested by the authorities and its staff to keep the islands safe. It is, however, also justified for a resident of the Bailiwick to challenge and criticise decisions that appear arbitrary and inflexible such as the decision to deny us a vaccination certificate.
I understand that the answer will be that they are “working on a verification method for vaccines received internationally” but this seems unreasonable in the face of other European countries currently opening their borders to vaccinated persons with EMA certified vaccinations. There is a very minimal chance of fraud (a risk that all countries have to accept to some degree), especially when receiving it in a country like the US.
Moreover, I also expect this decision to disadvantage my family by i.e., requiring me to isolate as a contact despite my vaccination status- self-isolation now seems to be a prospect many islanders face due to community seeding and a potential explosion of cases in the coming months.
I implore the CCA to rethink this policy. Why did we go to the trouble of getting vaccinated so swiftly and putting our trust into the island’s policies when the rules continue to remain so inflexible?"