Kenya will begin producing Covid-19 vaccines locally next year, in an effort to alleviate supply issues that have slowed mass vaccination.
President Uhuru Kenyatta urged the Ministry of Health to cooperate with Kenya Biovax Limited, a local enterprise, to ‘shape and fill’ with a view to starting vaccine production by Easter 2022, during the Mashujaa Day celebrations in Kirinyaga on Wednesday.
Third parties can use a form and fill facility to put vaccines from major producers into vials or syringes, seal them, and package them for distribution.
Several 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.