Kenya set to deploy AstraZeneca vaccine despite South Africa’s warnings


Kenya is going ahead with its plan to inoculate its citizens against COVID-19 using a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, a senior health ministry official said on Thursday, dismissing concerns over its efficacy.

South Africa paused the rollout of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University following a small clinical trial that showed it offered minimal protection against mild to moderate illness from the 501Y.V2 variant dominant in the country.

That move will not deter Kenya, which says it expects to receive 24 million doses of the vaccine beginning this month, said Mercy Mwangangi, the chief administrative secretary at the ministry.

“We are going to continue with AstraZeneca because we are doing our own sequencing and we are comfortable to move forward with it,” she told Reuters.

The World Heath Organisation had also issued an advisory on Wednesday telling countries to continue using the vaccine, Mwangangi said, which further supports the Kenyan government’s position.