NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – At least 73,946 Sputnik V vaccines are due to be exported out of the country after the importer expressed intent to doses which will not be administered following a ban imposed by the health ministry.
Of the 75,000 vaccines imported from Russia, where the vaccine was manufactured, only 527 had been utilized by the time government announced the ban.
The Pharmacy and Poisons Board ( PPB) on Thursday said the entity which administered the jabs had been directed to reserve second doses for those who had received the vaccine’s first dose.
Health Acting Director-General Patrick Amoth and Dominic Kariuki, who is the Deputy Director in charge of Inspectorate on Surveillance and Enforcement at the Pharmacy and Poisons Board made the revelations when they appeared before the Senate Health Committee.
Kariuki told the committee that the private firm had written to them seeking to re-export the vaccine.
“PPB is in receipt of a notice of intent to re-export of the vaccine from Kenya but the company is in the process of officially applying but the board has received the letter intently. They have to apply, there is a procedure for exportation of medicines,” he said.
The Board had licensed two firms in March to distribute Sputnik V in Kenya.
The companies imported 75,000 doses and charged at least Sh7,700 for a single shot before the ban was effected on Friday, April 2.
PPB had approved the vaccine for emergency use, the health of ministry later saying the vaccine had not been granted marketing approval.
“Co-participation of the private sector in the vaccination exercise now threatens the gains made in the fight against COVID-19 and we risk having counterfeit vaccines in the market,” said Mutahi Kagwe, Health Cabinet Secretary after chairing a meeting of the COVID-19 National Emergency Response Committee (NERC).
MoH had prior to the ban warned Sputnik V distributors against marketing the vaccine at a time when suppliers had begun administering the jab to a section of Kenyans including Deputy President William Ruto and his family.