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Economy

State faults Catholic Church over Raila vaccine claims

Director of Medical Services Dr. Jackson Kioko. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Director of Medical Services Dr. Jackson Kioko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The government has blamed the Catholic Church for opposition leader Raila Odinga’s claim that the tetanus vaccine that was administered to Kenyan women in 2014 could cause permanent infertility.

Mr Odinga had on Monday issued a statement in Nairobi saying the Catholic Church was right in its claim that the vaccination drive was a mass sterilisation plan, reigniting a three-year row between the church and the Health ministry.

The government now says the samples presented for testing by the Catholic Church in 2014 were questionable and the report should not be used to cause fear among Kenyans.

Director of Medical Services Dr Jackson Kioko on Tuesday admitted that three vaccine samples out of the nine the Catholic Church presented for testing after the row tested positive of the beta human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (BhCG), which causes pregnancy loss. But Mr Kioko reckons that the Catholic Church tampered with the samples and hence they cannot be trusted.

“A total of 59 vials were sampled and presented to in-country and international laboratories for testing, 50 vials were sampled from the field and central vaccine store and Dr Stephen Karanja and a Dr Wahome representing the Catholic Church presented separately nine vials for testing, out of which six vials were open,” said Dr Kioko.

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