At a time when the country is trying to speed up the vaccination process – in order to immunize its 54 million inhabitants as quickly as possible – there are rumors that some health professionals are administering fake covid-19 vaccines.
Under Kenya’s covid-19 vaccine deployment plan, which is supported by the global COVAX initiative, citizens are guaranteed to receive free doses of AstraZeneca vaccine at accredited health facilities across the East African country.
However, as vaccine shortages become a reality, reports have emerged that some health professionals in public hospitals are injecting “vaccines” that contain water.
During a speech on Thursday, Kenya’s health cabinet secretary, Muthai Kagwe, warned people about the problem that could have serious public health consequences.
“This situation is illegal and there are likely to be people who are not being vaccinated with the proper vaccines. There is a possibility that they are being vaccinated with water”, he said.
Currently, Kenya’s Ministry of Health has 622 approved vaccination centers across the country – 319 of which are public institutions.
While the public institutions involved in the illegal sale of covid-19 vaccines and the administration of “water vaccines” remain secret, Kagwe emphasized that investigators from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have already opened a criminal investigation.
Kenya, which received just over 1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from the global COVAX initiative in March, has managed to administer about 981,887 doses so far.
With the shortage of vaccines in sight, the gap between supply and demand it has created fertile ground for opportunists and criminal groups trying to disrupt Kenya’s vaccination efforts by infiltrating supply chains with counterfeit vaccines.
This phenomenon has been the focus of attention by Europol, recalls VICE.