Kenya announced on Friday that it had banned the importation of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. Days before, the vaccine had been authorized for emergency use.
” On the issue of the Sputnik V vaccine, it is indeed true that it has received emergency use authorization by our Pharmacy & Poisons board…We are currently in the process of setting up these criteria with the private sector to ensure that we have a framework of engagement that will be agile, a framework of engagement that will be accountable for the use of this vaccine ” said Health CAS Dr. Mercy Mwangangi at a press conference before the ban.
Licenses to administer the jab were issued to private hospitals. At $55 a dose, the Russian jab is reported to have an efficacy of 91.6%. The AstraZeneca vaccine, imported through Covax, has an efficacy of 63%. Sputnik V’s higher rate has made the vac popular in Kenya. Lawyers Ahmendassir Abdullahi and Donald Kipkorir, as well as Deputy Wiliam Ruto, received the Russian vaccine.
But, Kenya’s health experts feared that the introduction of the vaccine to the market would interrupt the nation’s vaccination efforts.
“Co-participation of the private sector in the vaccination exercise now threatens the gains made in the fight against COVID-19 and we risk having counterfeit vaccines in the market,” said Mutahi Kagwe, Health Cabinet Secretary after chairing a meeting of the COVID-19 National Emergency Response Committee (NERC).
Kenya’s have taken to twitter to discuss the Sputnik V vaccine with the hashtag #WeWantSputnikV.
The Sputnik V vaccine has not been approved for use by the WHO.
Do you think Kenya should allow the use of the Sputnik V vaccine?