The Embassy of Russia has confirmed its country’s Covid-19 Sputnik V is in Kenya but said it was imported by a private company on commercial basis.
“The Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Kenya hereby underlines that it is the obligation of private importers to strictly follow all the regulations of the Kenyan authorities and act in compliance with the legislation of the Republic of Kenya,” the embassy said in a press release on dated March 29.
The mission also said all questions relation in regards to the commercial importation of the vaccine should be addressed directly to the importers.
Last week on March 24, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board reportedly gave Emergency Use Approval for Sputnik V in Kenya through a private pharmacy.
The Sputnik V vaccine has an efficacy level of about 92 per cent and is the first such private consignment in Kenya.
The vaccine will be sold at Sh5, 500 a dose hence Sh11, 000 for the two jabs which will be 21 days apart.
This is even as the Ministry of Health denied the presence and distribution of the Russian vaccine in Kenya
Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi, however, said the ministry was ready to partner with the private sector but all vaccines arriving in the country must be approved by PPB before approval for use.
Mwangangi said the manufacturer, the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow, is yet to furnish Kenya’s Pharmacy and Poisons Board with all required information for full licensing.
“A technical agreement stipulating the responsibilities of all the parties involved in the distribution is yet to be submitted to the Pharmacy and Poisons Board. What this means is that the vaccine has therefore not received all the necessary regulatory approvals for use in the country,” she said.
The ministry said it couldn’t yet vouch for the vaccine’s safety or efficacy although it has been granted emergency use authorisation in Kenya.
But even as the Ministry of denied that the vaccine is in the country, city lawyers Ahmednasir Abdullahi and Donad Kipkorir tweeted on Tuesday that they had received the Russian jab.
— Ahmednasir Abdullahi SC (@ahmednasirlaw) March 30, 2021
The vaccine is already being used in 36 countries but is facing a pushback from European countries mainly due to business rivalry.
— Russian Embassy in Kenya/Посольство России в Кении (@russembkenya) March 30, 2021