All licenses of private institutions importing COVID-19 vaccines have been suspended until further notice, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe has announced.
The National Emergency COVID-19 response committee says they have stopped the importation of COVID-19 vaccine by private entities with immediate effect to enhance confidence and accountability in the ongoing vaccination process by the government.
The suspension comes days after the Pharmacy and Prisons board issued a statement giving Sputnik V vaccine a clean bill of health saying it was safe for use.
“There will be no licensing of private players in the importation of vaccines and any such license given will be and is hereby terminated. The only agent for vaccination in Kenya will remain the government of the republic of Kenya until further notice,” Kagwe said.
He also added that effective April 2, 2021, the government is closing the window of private sector importation, distribution and administration of vaccines.
“The government is effective today closing the window of private sector importation, distribution and administration of vaccines until such a time when it is confident that there is greater transparency and accountability in the entire process,” he said.
The sad news to importers came on the day the country recorded 1851 new confirmed coronavirus cases while 19 persons succumbed to the virus in the last 24 hours.
Kagwe said the Government move to suspend the licenses comes after a private entity imported Russian vaccine Sputnik V for commercial use.
The board however clarified that the Government had not made an order for the virus but acknowledged the vaccine had been imported by a private company.
Those who had received the Russian jab will still get their second dose from the available stock.
The Ministry has also warned counties not to hoard vaccines as they wait for the second doses saying the Government will ensure the second consignment will be in the Country in time.
He said the Government has scaled up testing after acquiring 17 new testing machines.
The country total cumulative cases now stand at 136,893 with a positivity rate of 19.1 per cent.
1,597 Patients are admitted in Hospitals across the Country, 183 in ICU and 12 in HDU.
During the same period 19 more people have died bringing the total number of fatalities to 2186.