Sputnik V vaccine receives emergency use authorisation in Kenya


Sputnik V vaccine receives emergency use authorisation in Kenya
Unopened vials of the Russian-manufactured Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine currently in Kenya courtesy of a private distributor. Photo: Courtesy

The Ministry of Health has changed its tune on the Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19  vaccine, confirming that is has indeed been given the nod by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PBB) for use  in the country.

During a press briefing on Wednesday, Health Ministry CAS Dr. Mercy Mwangangi confirmed that the vaccine which is being used in 65 countries so far has  received Emergency Use Authorization use in Kenya.

However, MoH has set a criterion in which the vaccine-vouched to have a 92% efficacy-will be administered and distributed.

The latest was borne off a meeting with the vaccine distributors during which, the MoH stressed on the need for strict adherence to regulatory guidelines given under the Emergency Use Authorization .

The distributor is  still barred from marketing the vaccine and will be required to report to the PBB to enable better monitoring of emerging issues including adverse events.

Additionally, the distributor will be required to conduct the inoculations at -yet-to be announced- approved vaccination posts that will be decided by the Kenya Medical Practitioner’s and Dentists Council.

There had been confusion in the country after MoH said there was currently no vaccine currently available for sale in Kenya.

During a press briefing, Dr. Mwangangi had announced that the vaccine’s  private distributor was  forbidden from marketing the vaccine which is yet to be pre-qualified by the WHO.

This was despite the PBB announcing that it had granted a private pharmacy, the Emergency Use Authorization for the sale of the vaccine in Kenya

The  Russian Embassy had also distanced itself from the vaccines, asking any concerned parties to direct questions and concerns to its distributors in the country.

On Tuesday, Deputy President William Ruto joined a growing list of prominent Kenyans who have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The second-in-command, reports say, received a dose of the Sputnik V vaccine together with his family at their Karen home.

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Story By Tonny Ndungu
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