Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use in Kenya

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) has granted Emergency Use Approval to a private pharmacy in Kenya for the Russian-made COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V.

The vaccine, which has a 92 percent efficacy rate, is Kenya’s first private vaccine consignment.

A statement posted on Twitter by the PPB on Wednesday said: ” PBB Kenya has given Emergency Use Authorization to AstraZeneca vaccine and the Sputnik V vaccine after a successful evaluation process. This is not a registration.”

According to the PBB, before a vaccine is considered for approval, sufficient scientific and clinical evidence must be collected to show that it is safe, efficacious and of suitable quality.

The Board said that in reviewing the Sputnik V vaccine, it had considered all aspects of quality, safety and efficacy and arrived at conclusion that it is wholesomely safe.

While it has been authorized for emergency use, it is yet to be included in the National Vaccination Program as the Ministry of Health has yet to decide to use it.

As per the clinical data currently available for all COVID-19 vaccines, only persons aged 18 and above are eligible for vaccination.

Those interested in getting the vaccine will have to part with Ksh. 11,000 for the requisite two doses which will be administered 21 days apart.

The vaccine which was initially met with scepticism now joins the ranks of proven vaccines alongside Pfizer BionTech, Oxford’s AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen.

Just like the over vaccines, Sputnik V uses a harmless cold-type virus as a carrier to carry a small fragment of the coronavirus into the body.

By exposing the body to a small portion of the virus’s genetic code in this way, it can learn to recognize the threat and fight it off without the risk of becoming sick.

The body produces antibodies that are specifically tailored to the coronavirus after being vaccinated.

This means that if the immune system comes into contact with coronavirus, it will be ready to fight it.

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Story By Tonny Ndungu
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