What you need to know:
- The socio-economic and health disruptions wrought by the disease will take generations to undo.
- Drug development is a rigorous process that is fraught with perils.
Since Covid-19 was first detected in China in December 2019, the world has gone through monumental devastations and shocks. For months, the world stared hopelessly as the disease presented a cruel challenge never witnessed in more than a century. The socio-economic and health disruptions wrought by the disease will take generations to undo.
However, every trial brings out the best in humanity. Scientists and medical researchers went to work and came up some working vaccines. Several countries have already procured coronavirus vaccines and started administering them on their citizens with positive results. However, Kenya and other developing countries are struggling to access the vaccines.
This is the reason we are upbeat with the latest development, where the country’s drugs regulator has approved use of one of the vaccines, AstraZeneca, which by all indications may be made available in the next few weeks. Opinion is divided but the general thrust is that AstraZeneca offers hope in curing the disease.
On a positive note, the Kenya’s Pharmacy and Poisons Board has investigated the efficacy of the drug and given it a clean bill of health. It has acknowledged that the drug works and importantly, is fit for human use. We hope this is conclusive given that countries such as South Africa have raised doubts about it.
Drug development is a rigorous process that is fraught with perils. Extreme care must be taken to guarantee effectiveness and safety of any drug. Nothing should be left to chance. This is the responsibility of the pharmacy and poisons board.
Beyond the approval, the country has to grapple with the costs of acquiring the vaccine and ensuring fair distribution so that those unduly exposed to the virus get priority. On the whole, the country has to do what it can to obtain a vaccine to save lives.