Kenyans Pay $70 for a Shot of Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine

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Kenyans have begun getting inoculated with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines for a fee after the nation’s authorities approved the shots for emergency purposes.

A single shot costs 7,700 shillings ($70.30), according to Nairobi-based lawyer Donald Kipkorir, who got an injection Tuesday.

“Sputnik V got high reviews from medical journals and that is comforting for me,” another lawyer, Ahmednasir Abdullahi, said by text message. “The West is hoarding vaccine it doesn’t need, but Russia has made it available to poor Third World countries like Kenya.”

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board gave emergency use authorization for AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines “after a successful evaluation process,” the agency said March 24 on Twitter. “This is not a registration.”

Kenya was the 10th African nation to approve their use, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund. Sputnik V has a 91.6% efficacy and provides full protection against severe cases of the illness. The vaccines can be stored at 2 Celsius to 8 Celsius, meaning they don’t require additional cold-chain infrastructure, the fund said this month.

The East African nation has received a total of 1.1 million AstraZeneca Plc doses from the Covax initiative and a consignment donated by the Indian government. About 131,000 of the shots have been administered.

Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe and Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi did not respond to text messages and phone calls seeking confirmation about the private sales.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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