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Thursday, May 27, 2021 – Kenya is moving closer to manufacturing its own Covid-19 vaccines to mitigate the growing demand for the vaccine brought about by the delayed shipment of AstraZeneca.

Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) will conduct clinical trials of two Covid-19 vaccines from the US and China for approvals.  

According to Deputy Director Prof. Matilu Mwau, researchers and scientists at the Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases Control Research in Alupe, Busia County, were preparing for clinical trials of Tonix and Anhui Zhifei for emergency use in Kenya.

 “We want to have options so that even if AstraZeneca is not there we would still have other vaccines,” he explained.

“The trials on the safety of vaccines could start by the end of the year,” stated Mwau.

He noted that the trials and use of the Anhui Zhifei from China could start soon since the product was ready for shipping.

“We only need to get the protocols approved so that the products could be imported to Kenya for trials,” he said.

The supply and use of the two vaccines would boost Kenya’s efforts to fight the pandemic through the inoculation of more people and those who had received the first round of the Oxford-AstraZeneca (which is delivered in two doses) could still get Johnson and Johnson or other jabs for the second dose which improves efficacy.

According to Prof Mwau, Kenyans should not worry about the shortage of AstraZeneca or delayed supplies for second injections since we will be manufacturing our own Covid-19 vaccines very soon at KEMRI in Busia.

This comes as Health CS Mutahi Kagwe warned of a looming 4th wave and urged Kenyans to brace themselves for impact.


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