Health CS says Kenya will not pre-order any vaccines that have not been cleared as 100% safe.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe yesterday said that Kenya won’t preorder Covid-19 vaccines that have not received global scientific approval.
The CS made the remarks during a Covid-19 press briefing after another US firm, Moderna Inc, announced that its experimental Covid-19 vaccine was 94.5 per cent effective.
The trial involved 30,000 people in the US with half being given two doses of the vaccine, four weeks apart.
“The overall effectiveness has been remarkable… it’s a great day,” Tal Zaks, the Chief Medical Officer at Moderna, told BBC News.
The Moderna vaccine is based on similar mRNA technology used by Pfizer and German firm BioNTech, which last week indicated that their vaccine is 90 effective at preventing the respiratory illness.
Not Guinea Pigs
CS Kagwe, who said that the steps being taken to find a working vaccine are impressive, insisted that Kenya will remain cautious and will only order the vaccines if they are declared fit by relevant regulators and the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Kenya will not be used as guinea pigs to test vaccines that are essentially not cleared. I think the history of vaccines elsewhere also proves us right and if also you look at vaccines that have already been launched then you will understand why we want the vaccine but also cautious. Those who are telling us about the vaccines are the ones who will rush to condemn us when we will start getting people dying or having serious side effects, ” he said.
He added; “As a ministry and in consultation with our experts in Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) and elsewhere we are also studying all those inventions that are coming up.”
Health Ministry’s Director of Health Dr Patrick Amoth urged Kenyans to be patient as the vaccines undergo rigorous peer review.
CS Kagwe last week on Wednesday claimed his statement was taken out of context after casting doubt on the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine.
Both vaccines should be available early next year.