Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Africa CDC has backed the decision by the Kenyan government to ban the importation, sale and use of privately procured COVID-19 vaccines.
The continental agency, which supports health initiatives of member states and strengthens the capacity of their health institutions to deal with disease threats, noted that shadowy shipping of the jabs might prove dangerous in the end.
“The risks of opaque importation far outweigh any benefits. Vaccines save lives.” Africa CDC Deputy Director Dr. Ahmed Ogwell said
Reacting to the announcement by the Ministry of Health Friday, Dr. Ogwell reiterated the need for all African countries to continue the rollout of vaccines allocated principally via either the COVAX facility, Africa CDC platform, or bilateral agreements as announced by the government of Kenya.
“I applaud the Govt of Kenya Flag of Kenya for aligning with the rest of the Earth globe Europe-Africa in making Covid Vaccines a public good.” Dr. Ogwell, a global health expert noted via his twitter handle.
The statement from Addis Ababa comes amid controversy over the faces behind importation of vaccines such as the Russian-made Sputnik V Vaccine, which is administered at a fee.
Critics have maintained that the vaccine has been put in the market with the sole aim of fleecing Kenyans.
While announcing the ban, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe noted that the participation of the private sector in the vaccination exercise threatens the gains made in the fight against covid-19 and puts the country at international risk should counterfeit commodities find their way into the Kenyan market.
“There has been a lack of clarity with the private vaccines. We want Kenyans to have vaccines that have been cleared by two institutions: Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) and the World Health Organization (WHO). If it has not been cleared by WHO it will not be used in Kenya,” he said.