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Pharmacy board allows Russia's Sputnik-V Covid vaccine in Kenya

Health & Science

 A man is injected with Sputnik-V vaccine against the coronavirus disease in Ukraine on February 3, 2021. The vaccine is soon going to be available in Kenya through a private pharmacy. [Reuters] 

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) has given Emergency Use Approval for the Russian-developed Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, in Kenya through a private pharmacy.

The Sputnik V vaccine has an efficacy level of about 92 per cent and is the first such private consignment in Kenya. But its use is subject to certain conditions among them proof of linking Sputnik V vaccine to the ongoing national vaccination roll-out plan.

 According to a source at the PPB, several other vaccine manufacturers have expressed interest, but are yet to make formal application for consideration. The sourced told The Standard that “Chinese vaccines and Johnson & Johnson have indicated interest but we are yet to receive their applications, we will only deal with applications we receive.”  

 The vaccine, which will require two doses for maximum protection, will be sold at Sh5, 500 a dose hence Sh11, 000 for the two jabs which will be 21 days apart.

 According to the distributor, two doses will be booked and paid upon confirmation of the order. The minimum order per facility is 25 doses for the first dose coded in blue and purple boxes and 25 doses for the second dose (red and violet) boxes.

 Each vial has five doses - each box has five vials which make 25 doses. This means five patients must be available at once for the vaccination. The jab is stored at minus 18 Celsius. Defrosting takes three to five minutes. Once defrosted, the vaccine must be administered within two hours (120 minutes). Refreezing the vaccine is not allowed.

Facilities in need will have to prepay for both the doses upon confirmation of both doses and delivery within 24 hours via freight in time for the first dose. The second dose to follow 21 days later, but if one wishes to have both doses delivered at once the same can be arranged.

 It is not clear yet whether the price indicated is the final retail price or the selling price to the hospitals which will be the vaccination points.

The importer has already identified two distributors who are yet to be approved by PPB as it has not received technical agreements stipulating the responsibilities of all the parties concerned.

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