Jan, 5th 2021 – The delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine to Kenya could be delayed after the Indian government banned exports for “several months” until it vaccinates its vulnerable people.
Kenya expected to receive the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine next month from the contracted manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India (SII).
However, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla on Sunday, said that his company has been barred from exporting any shots until it supplies the Indian government with an initial 100 million doses. He said, “We can only give, the vaccines, to the government of India at the moment.”
The AstraZeneca vaccine was granted emergency use authorization on Sunday by the INdian Government on condition that SII does not export any shots until the country’s vulnerable populations are protected.
Kenya on December 7th 2020 applied for 24 million doses through Covax, and had expected to receive the initial 12 million doses at the end of this month or early February.
Health Cabinet Secreatry Mutahi Kagwe said, “We have ordered vaccines. We are hoping that the vaccines will be here by the end of January or up to the second week of February.” However, Poonawalla said that the export of the vaccines for Covax might not begin till March or April due to the orders by the Indian government.
Last year, Gavi and its partners contracted SII to manufacture shots for the Covax facility and paid funding guarantee. Gavi says that it made arrangements to access nearly two billion doses of the vaccine candidates on behalf of 190 participating economies including Kenya.
On the 18th of December, it announced the signing of an advance purchase agreement with AstraZeneca for a further 170 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford candidate.
Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, in a statement said, “Securing access to doses of a new vaccine for both higher-income and lower-income countries, at roughly the same time and during a pandemic, is a feat the world has never achieved before, let alone at such unprecedented speed and scale.”