Kenya could conduct Sputnik clinical trial

In Summary

• Peer-reviewed journal articles have declared the Sputnik V vaccine safe and effective

• Europe is in the final stages of its own trial to determine the effectiveness of the Sputnik vaccine

The Sputnik V vaccine produced by Russia.
The Sputnik V vaccine produced by Russia.

The Health ministry decision to block distribution of the Sputnik vaccine in Kenya is questionable.

Peer-reviewed articles in the Lancet and British Medical Journal reported that Phase 3 trials of the Sputnik vaccine found it safe and effective. Its efficacy is reported as 91 percent, higher than AstraZeneca that is being distributed in Kenya.

Sputnik has become a political football. European Union leaders says they do not need any vaccine from Russia even though they are suffering a chronic shortage of doses. In Kenya, allegations are bandied around that a political big shot is behind its importation.

Despite this politicisation, over 50 countries have started vaccination drives with Sputnik V. There are still production shortages but South Korean and Indian factories will produce hundreds of millions of doses this year.

The Kenya government did well to pre-order four million AstraZeneca doses through Covax. But only 300,000 people have been vaccinated so far and many more are desperate to get vaccinated.

Approving Sputnik would take pressure off the demand for free government vaccination. At the very least, the Health ministry should copy the European Medical Agency and start a clinical trial of Sputnik.

Quote of the day: “Don’t be fooled into turning to Communism looking for food.”

Jomo Kenyatta
The future Kenyan president was jailed by the British on April 8, 1953