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Aberdeen man told there’s no solution to four-month vaccine passport woes

Robert Grubb, from Aberdeen, has been left 'in limbo' during a four-month battle over his Covid vaccination status.
Robert Grubb has been left 'in limbo' during a four-month battle over his Covid vaccination status.

An Aberdeen man fears he’s “fallen through the cracks” amid a four-month struggle to prove his Covid vaccination status.

Robert Grubb received two doses of the Sinopharm jab in April, while working in the United Arab Emirates.

He returned to the north-east in August and was advised by his GP to get re-vaccinated with products authorised by UK authorities.

Robert received one dose of Moderna, but was turned away from getting another because his overseas jabs classified him as fully-vaccinated.

However, the 33-year-old’s Covid status app can’t include the UAE jabs as they’re not recognised here, meaning his vaccine passport shows he’s only had one dose.

The oil worker fears this could prevent him from certain events, travelling or job opportunities – and he’s been told by the Scottish Government there’s no solution.

‘General apathy’ for finding a fix

Robert does have paper copies of his Covid vaccination status certificates from the UAE and Aberdeen, but has been left with unanswered questions over how useful these could be.

He said: “I suggested if I were to travel, would the paper certificates be sufficient – and the answer was ‘we don’t know’.

“There seems to be a general inflexibility.

“I thought, once I raised the issue, someone would give you dispensation – but no-one wants to do anything.

“My big fear is, if they bring in further restrictions, that I’ll be caught in the middle.”

‘We appreciate it may be frustrating…’

The Sinopharm vaccine was developed in China, and works in a similar way to the likes of flu and polio jabs.

It introduces “inactivated” or killed coronavirus particles to the immune system, so it learns how further infection can be fought off.

Bottles of used Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine at a centre in Thailand.
Bottles of used Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine at a centre in Thailand.

It has been approved for use in 80 countries, including the UAE, Bahrain and large parts of South America and Africa.

Robert added: “I don’t think they’ll give certification here for the ones I got in the UAE as so few places accept it.

“Then you’ll have people complaining why they can’t [use Sinopharm for UK vaccinations] when others can, so I can see them wanting to avoid the issue entirely.

“But I don’t understand why there’s not an alternative, even if that’s just giving you another dose.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “People vaccinated in other countries with vaccines not approved by MHRA should speak to their local health board about what the most appropriate vaccine or booster is, based on their clinical need.

“While we appreciate it may be frustrating for people vaccinated abroad to not be able to transfer their records onto the vaccine status app, they are able to use a negative test result to access venues.”


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