Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen claims the government banned the importation, distribution and administration of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine so that “Deputy President….does not get the second shot.”
Writing on Twitter, the Senator claims that Nairobi lawyers Ahmednasir Abdullahi and Donald Kipkorir, who were the first and second people in Kenya to receive the Sputnik V, will “suffer collateral damage.”
Speaking to the press yesterday Ministry of Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said that the decision to ban the privately-imported vaccine was arrived at after a meeting by the National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) on COVID-19.
“Any person advertising or vaccinating people for a fee will be in contravention of the Pharmacy and Poisons Board regulations governing emergency use authorisation and the Public Health Act. As such they will be liable for prosecution. The only agent for vaccination in Kenya will remain the government of the Republic of Kenya until further notice,” said CS Kagwe.
Earlier this week, DP William Ruto was photographed receiving the Sputnik V. The vaccine is made by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Russia. The Government of Kenya is touting the UK-made Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
According to The Lancet, it offers around 92% protection against Covid-19. In comparison, theAstraZeneca offers around 75% protection. Though initially met with controversy after being rolled out before the final trial data had been released, Sputnik V is now in the ranks of proven vaccines that includes Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen.
The Ministry of Health insists that the Sputnik V jab has not been approved by the World Health Organisation and locally, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.
“We want Kenyans to be sure that all the vaccines being used in the country have been approved by two bodies WHO and PPB, Sputnik has not being approved by both. We do not have enough resources to ensure that free vaccines are not converted to paid ones,” added CS Kagwe. “The government assures those who have already taken their first dose of vaccine outside the government deployment plan will receive their second dose when due.”