Kenya Halts Private Sales of Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine

Private Covid-19 vaccinations with Sputnik V shots from Russia came to a stop in Kenya after the government barred companies from shipping and administering the Covid-19 vaccines.

“We’ve had to stop selling the vaccines due to the government directive,” said Rupen Haria, director and owner of Harley’s Ltd and Unisel Pharma Ltd., the two firms licensed in March by Kenya’s Pharmacy and Poisons Board to distribute Sputnik V in Kenya.

The companies imported 75,000 doses, Haria said by phone on Tuesday. A single shot cost at least 7,700 shillings ($70) before the ban, according to one clinic in the capital, Nairobi.

“The logistics of handling the vaccine is very expensive,” he said.

Importation, distribution and administration of vaccines by the private sector will resume once the government is “confident that there is greater transparency and accountability in the entire process,” Health Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said in a statement.

The only vaccine now available in Kenya is AstraZeneca Plc’s Covishield, and 1.12 million doses received last month have been reserved for health workers and the elderly. About 283,000 people had been vaccinated by Sunday and almost 140,000 infections confirmed.

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