Economy

Local Covid vaccine production starts April

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Summary

  • Kenya will next year start manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines locally in a move aimed at easing supply hitches that have derailed mass inoculation.
  • A form and fill facility helps third parties put the vaccine from the main manufacturers into vials or syringes, sealing them and packaging them up for distribution.

Kenya will next year start manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines locally in a move aimed at easing supply hitches that have derailed mass inoculation.

Speaking Wdnesday during the Mashujaa Day celebration in Kirinyaga, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Ministry of Health to work with Kenya Biovax Limited, a local firm, to 'form and fill ' with a view to start vaccine production by Easter 2022.

A form and fill facility helps third parties put the vaccine from the main manufacturers into vials or syringes, sealing them and packaging them up for distribution.

Many manufacturers use third parties to fill and finish their vaccines and African countries like Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa are in talks with investors to start the production of coronavirus vaccines.

In Kenya, 1,126,850 people have been fully vaccinated, up from 746,267 on August 14 while the number of those who have received the first jab has jumped to 4.34 million from two million over the same period as the government steps up vaccination.

"If there is anything, we have learnt from the Covid pandemic is the essence of self-reliance. As the first step towards this goal, we have established a company to facilitate this venture in the name of Kenya Biovax Limited," said Mr Kenyatta.