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Government bans private import of Covid-19 vaccine

Health & Science

The Government has revoked licenses for the importation, distribution, and administration of Covid-19 vaccine by the private sector.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe (pictured) has announced that only the government is authorised as an agent in the vaccination exercise, until further notice.

“There will be no licensing of private players in the importation of vaccines and any such license given will be and is hereby terminated. The only agent for vaccination in Kenya will remain the Kenyan government,” the CS said.

Similarly, any person or organization advertising or administering the vaccines at a fee is in contravention of Poisons Board regulations and will be liable for prosecution.

The CS says this is in a bid to protect the integrity of the country and ensure transparency in the vaccination exercise.

“The vaccines being used in Kenya have been cleared by two institutions- WHO and Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB). If a vaccine has not been cleared by WHO, it will not be used in Kenya, whether it is being used in other countries or not,” Kagwe said.

News of the ban comes amid questions and mixed messages of the Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine that is already in the country.

Deputy President William Ruto, his wife Rachel, and two lawyers being the latest in the list of prominent leaders to get vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine.

“Those who took the Sputnik V vaccine are assured of their second dose. We are going to work with the importer together with PPB and the vaccination centers to ensure they get their second dose,” Acting Health Director-General Dr Patrick Amoth said.

On Monday, the Russian embassy in Nairobi distanced itself from the Covid-19 Sputnik V vaccine, saying it had been imported by a private company.

The Standard reported that the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) had given Emergency Use Approval for the Sputnik V in Kenya through a private pharmacy.

It is being sold at Sh5,000 a dose. A vaccine requires two doses, hence Sh11,000 for those who have chosen it, with jabs being 21 days apart.

Covid-19 numbers

Today, some 1,851 people tested positive for the coronavirus, from a sample size of 9,676 conducted in the last 24 hours.

The country’s positivity rate is now at 19.1 per cent, with 136, 893 confirmed cases so far.

Additionally, 363 patients have recovered while 19 others have succumbed to the disease.

“215 of the recoveries were from the Home-Based and Isolation Care while one hundred and forty-eight were discharged from various health facilities.”

There are now 93, 430 recoveries and 2,186 fatalities respectively.

Cumulatively, 1,504,453 tests have been conducted since the onset of the disease in Kenya.

The CS also noted with concern the increase in the number of patients admitted to the ICU. There are 185 patients in the ICU just today. Forty-three are on ventilatory support and one hundred and six on supplemental oxygen.

A total of 1,597 patients are currently admitted to various health facilities across the country.


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