The Ministry of Health on Wednesday changed tune on Sputnik V, the Russian Covid-19 vaccine, saying the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PBB) had allowed it to be used in Kenya and vaccination posts will soon be announced.
Health Ministry Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Mercy Mwangangi confirmed on Wednesday the vaccine had gotten the Emergency Use Authorization for use in Kenya but said MoH had set out extra measures to be met for its effective administration.
She said the administration and distribution of the jab with a 92 per cent efficacy must be done using strict criteria set out by the Ministry of Health, saying Sputnik V is currently being used in more than 60 countries.
This comes after a meeting between MoH and vaccine distributors where the ministry stressed that strict regulatory guidelines set under the Emergency Use Authorisation must be observed.
William and Rachel Ruto. PHOTO/DPPS
The government insisted that the distributor must not market the vaccine and report to PBB to enable the government to monitor issues that might arise, including adverse reactions.
The vaccine distributors must also administer the jab approved vaccination centers which will be decided and announced by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council.
Dr Mercy Mwangangi; It’s true, Sputnik V vaccine, has received Emergency Use Authorisation by @ppbkenya— Ministry of Health (@MOH_Kenya) March 31, 2021
It has also received emergency use authorisation from over 65 countries and is already in use in most of these countries.
On Tuesday, Health Director General Patrick Amoth said WHO was yet to pre-qualify the vaccine, and it might take time for it to be okayed for emergency use in Kenya as it was yet to meet the required standards.
Amoth’s position was despite the PBB announcing that it had permitted a private pharmacy to sell the Russia-made vaccine in Kenya for Emergency Use Authorization.
Sputnik V. vaccine. PHOTO/COURTESY
The Russian Embassy in Nairobi also asked anyone concerned about the jab to direct their questions to its private company that imported and is distributing it in the country.
Prominent Kenyans who have publicly received Sputnik V are Deputy President William Ruto, lawyers Ahmednasir Abdullahi and Donald Kipkorir as well as radio personality Shaffie Weru.
The vaccine is said to retail at Sh11,000 for two doses which are administered 21 days apart.