Lobby mulls importation of vaccines

Friday, March 26th, 2021 00:00 | By
Covid-19 vaccine. Photo/Courtesy

The private sector wants to import Covid-19 vaccines to fast track efforts by the government to immunise Kenyans against the lethal virus.

Kenya Private Sector Association (Kepsa) chief executive Carole Kariuki Karuga made the recommendation yesterday saying with a positivity rate at 16.5 per cent, Kepsa members could help mitigate the spread of the pandemic.

“The private sector is ready, willing and able to play its role in working with the government to ensure we meet this target of 100 per cent vaccination by July 31 2021,” said chief executive Carole Kariuki Karuga.

Stringent measures

The lobby further called for stringent measures over the next 3 weeks saying there is need for a clear vaccine rollout plan which must stipulate the number of people to be vaccinated.

Kenya received its 1.02 million doses of the World Health Organisation sponsored AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine as part of an initial allocation to Kenya of 3.56 million doses that are currently being administered to frontline health workers.

Some of Kepsa’s concerns, especially on cross border spread comes in the wake of fears that Kenyan travellers to the UK could be subjected to mandatory 10 days quarantine at a personal cost of £1,750 which is equivalent to Sh263,494 in government-sanctioned hotels.

Manufacturers, who were initially caught flat-footed when the virus struck now say, they are recovering to cope with the economic shocks.

Local industry

“Local manufacturers have demonstrated their capacity to produce high-quality goods, including, the certification of the first locally manufactured ventilator by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers’ (KAM) Automotive Sector led by Mutsimoto Motor Company Limited,” said chief executive Phyllis Wakiaga.

She said KAM has already identified 76 opportunities for investment and value addition through a Manufacturing Resilience and Sustainability Policy Toolkit  launched last month.

“Among them, the manufacture and supply of medical equipment, investments in adopting new technology, increased attention to developing local value chains to reduce dependence on imports, circular value chain, agro-processing, regional leather value chain integration and packaging materials,” said Wakiaga.

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