The controversy around Sputnik V Vaccine in Kenya

Confusion has set in over the recent imported Russian-manufactured Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V in Kenya.

The controversy around Sputnik V Vaccine in Kenya

While appearing before the Health Committee on Tuesday, Ministry of Health acting Director-General Dr. Patrick Amoth said the Sputnik V vaccine was yet to be approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to Amoth, the Sputnik V vaccine might take a long time before being approved for emergency use in Kenya as it’s yet to be qualified by WHO.

“Any pre-qualified vaccine approval takes less than a week for emergency authorization use, it takes a longer time for a vaccine that is not pre-qualified by the WHO, since there are set out steps that have to be followed for such an approval,” Dr. Amoth said.

The Director however said there is a possibility of a vaccine to be used without approvals from the World Health Organization (WHO) provided it has passed the other stringent tests.

Dr. Amoth referred to the Moderna vaccine which is currently being used in the US and it’s yet to be approved by WHO, but it has passed efficacy and safety tests in America.

Russian Embassy in Kenya through a statement on March 29th said there is no agreement between Kenya and Russia for the importation and use of the Sputnik V vaccine.

However, the Embassy noted the vaccine had been imported for use in Kenya by a private entity and advised the entities to follow all the guidelines issued by the government through the Ministry of Health.

Reports indicate that those interested in getting the vaccine will pay Sh.11, 000 for the requisite two doses which are being administered 21 days apart.

Sputnik V vaccine is said to have a 91% efficacy rate and it has now been administered to at least 60 countries in the world and it’s used in Africa by Tunisia, Congo, and Algeria.