MoH to Senate Health Committee: Why the Private Sector Ban on COVID Vaccines
NAIROBI, 8th April – The marketing of the Sputnik V vaccine by appointed distributors together with its irregular deployment led to its suspension, the Senate Committee on Health heard.
Addressing a virtual meeting hosted by the committee – in a bid to understand the shifting positions by the Ministry of Health (MoH) on the role of the private sector in importation and distribution of vaccines – CAS Rashid Aman reported that marketing of a product under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) was in contravention of guidelines set forth by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB).
“NERC [National Emergency Response Committee] further deliberated on the role of the private sector in the importation, distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines…following reports of irregular deployment of one of the vaccines,” CAS Aman explained.
“The Committee [NERC] noted that gains made in the fight against the pandemic may be reversed by the introduction of counterfeit vaccines into the Kenyan market, putting the country at further risk of COVID-19 spread, increased morbidity and mortality,” he added.
The Senate Committee, through Sen Ledama Olekina, observed that limited shelf-life of the vaccines would result in losses for the importer and the global community in need of vaccines.
“Why can’t the Government engage the private entity, reimburse and allow them to send back the vaccines?” posed Sen Olekina.
PPB though Dr Dominic Kariuki, Deputy Director – Inspectorate Surveillance and Enforcement, confirmed that the Board was in receipt of a Letter of Intent from the importer to export the vaccine from Kenya.
Others present at the meeting included- Sen Michael Mbito, Sen Beth Mugo, Sen Sam Ongeri, Sen Mary Seneta, Sen Abdullahi Ali, Sen Beatrice Kwamboka, Sen Fred Outa, Sen Millicent Omanga, and Ag DG of Health, Patrick Amoth among others