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A medical worker holds a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on February 12, 2021 at the Tapparelli Retirement Home in Saluzzo, near Cuneo, Italy, during a vaccination campaign for people over 80

World

Joint Kenya-US team to scrutinize COVID-19 vaccines safety before shipping

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 1-Kenya and the United States are planning to set up a joint operation team to scrutinize the safety of COVID-19 vaccines to be imported.

The announcement was made Thursday by the United States Department coordinator for global COVID-19 response Gayle Smith.

Kenya is among the countries listed to receive doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the United States, which is part of President Joe Biden’s commitment to resolving the inequalities in the distribution of vaccines globally.

Gayle, who was speaking during a press briefing drawing journalists across Africa, said after the necessary approvals are authorized this will pave way for the shipping of vaccines from US to Kenya.

“In order to share the vaccine, we have to go through several legal and regulatory steps to make sure that the vaccine is authorized in Kenya. Our teams will work together jointly in confirming the safety of the vaccines before they are shipped,” she stated.

The Biden-Harris Administration in June announced the distribution list for 55 million of the 80 million doses of America’s own vaccine supply in service of ending the pandemic globally.

Gayle said the US intend to carry out the approval processes within the shortest time possible, so that the vaccine shipment can be dispatched.

“Hopefully you will be seeing those vaccines arrive very soon and with the President’s support and encouragement we are going to move them as quickly as we can,” she added.

A statement from White House explained that “approximately 14 million – or 25% of these 55 million vaccines – will be shared with regional priorities and other recipients, such as: Colombia, Argentina, Haiti, other CARICOM countries, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Cabo Verde, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, Tunisia, Oman, West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Georgia, Moldova, and Bosnia.”

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It stressed the importance of the vaccine strategy as a vital component of America’s overall global effort to lead the world in the fight to defeat COVID-19 and to achieve global health security.

In addition to sharing teh vaccine doses, the Biden-Harris Administration said it is also committed to working with the manufacturers to produce more vaccines to share with the world.

Kenya had administered  1,378,585 vaccines by June 30, 2021 having acquired more than 1.02 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX facility.

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