• Last week, AstraZeneca said the studies were being paused while it investigated whether the adverse reaction was linked with the vaccine.
• He also inquired on what prompted the suspension of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials in the UK and if a similar suspension was done in Kenya.
Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir has requested for a statement from the chairperson of the National Assembly's Departmental Committee on Health on the status of the Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine trials in the country.
During the National Assembly sitting on Tuesday, Nassir pointed out that Kemri is currently engaged in a multilateral partnership with the Wellcome Trust and the University of Oxford under the Kemri-Wellcome Trust Collaborative Research Programme.
This was aimed at expanding the country’s capacity to conduct multidisciplinary medical research.
"Oxford University has engaged AstraZeneca Plc, which is a British-Swedish multinational biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, England, to develop a Covid-19 vaccine on its behalf by conducting differentiated human trials in Kenya," he said.
However, he said that similar Covid-19 vaccine trials were halted in the United Kingdom several days ago and as such failed to understand the rationale behind their continued experimentation in this country.
"It is on account of this expectation that I seek a statement from the chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Health. Have any Covid-19 vaccine trials been undertaken in Kenya since the outbreak of the pandemic, and are there any clinical trials currently in progress?" he posed.
He also inquired on what prompted the suspension of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials in the UK and if a similar suspension was done in Kenya.
"Were key stakeholders in the country consulted before Oxford University was granted greenlight to conduct its Covid-19 vaccine trials in Kenya?" he asked.
Nassir also wanted to know how many similar Covid-19 clinical trials have been carried out in the country so far, and what their respective status.
Last week, AstraZeneca said the studies were being paused while it investigated whether the adverse reaction was linked with the vaccine.
But on Saturday, the university said it had been deemed safe to continue.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock welcomed the news that the trials would resume.
"This pause shows we will always put safety first. We will back our scientists to deliver an effective vaccine as soon as safely possible," he added.