Kenya to buy Covid-19 vaccine from Russia

Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine

Kenya is considering acquiring Covid-19 vaccine from Russia.

A source at the Ministry of Health says the vaccine is a good option because it is more effective than AstraZeneca  that Kenya has ordered.

The Sputnik vaccine is 91.6 percent effect against symptoms of Covid-19, according to a report published by the Lancet.

“It’s also safe and fits well in our cold chain supply system,” the source said.

In August last year Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi said Kenya would engage Russia directly for its vaccine, through the Foreign Affairs ministry.

“We definitely will plug in and work with Russia to ensure that the vaccine is safe before we use it,” Mwangangi said. 

The vaccine has been approved by 15 countries, including Russia, Argentina, Palestinian territories, Venezuela, Hungary, UAE, and Iran.

The Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), has secured over 300 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine.

The AVATT team had earlier on secured over 270 million doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines in the first allocation phase.

A total of 26 African countries have already submitted their applications to acquire 180 million doses of these vaccines according to AVATT director John Nkengasong.

The Russian vaccine will be available for a period of 12 months starting May 2021, the team said in a statement. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is responsible for marketing the vaccine abroad, said some deliveries could start in May but most would be from June.

On Friday, Africa Vaccine Acquisition TaskTeam, set up by the African Union to acquire additional vaccine doses so that Africa can attain a target immunization of 60 per cent, said Russia had offered to sell to it 300 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine.

 “This includes a financing package for any member states wishing to secure this vaccine,” the team said.

The cost of the Sputnik V vaccine for international markets is about (Sh1,100) $10 per dose, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

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