The government has banned private importation of Covid-19 vaccine.
Speaking on Friday, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said the vaccines will no longer be sold locally until the state is confident in the transparency and accountability of the process.
“The government is effective today closing the window of private sector importation, distribution and administration of vaccines until such a time when it is confident that there is greater transparency and accountability in the entire process,” CS Kagwe said.
The CS also revoked licenses given to private players until further notice. The state, he said, remains the sole agent of vaccination.
“There will be no licensing of private players in the importation of vaccines and any such license given will be and is hereby terminated. The only agent for vaccination in Kenya will remain the government of the republic of Kenya until further notice,” he added.
The CS during a live address also noted that anyone offering the vaccine at a fee will be prosecuted.
He also maintained that vaccines not cleared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) will not be used in Kenya.
“If a vaccine has not been cleared by WHO it will not be used in Kenya, whether it is being used in other countries or not,” he continued.
Russian-manufactured Sputnik-V Covid-19 vaccine arrived in Kenya on March 25, weeks after the arrival of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine.
The presence of the Russian vaccine has caused controversy even after the Pharmacy and Poisons Board approved the emergency use of the vaccine.
PPB said the vaccine was in the country legally.
The jab was being offered for Sh11,000.
While the vaccine will no longer be available locally, the government has assured those that received the first dose of a second dose.
“Those who took the Sputnik V vaccine are assured of their second dose. We are going to work with the importer together with PPB and the vaccination centers to ensure that those who have received the vaccine will get their second dose,” acting director general for health Dr Patrick Amoth said.
Among those who received the Russian vaccine were Deputy President William Ruto and his wife, Rachel Ruto.
Senior counsel Ahmednassir Abdullahi and Donald Kipkorir were also inoculated.