What you need to know:
- On the whole, the country has to do what it can to obtain a vaccine to save lives.
Since the novel coronavirus was first detected in China in December 2019, the world has gone through monumental devastation and shocks. For months, the world stared hopelessly as the disease presented a cruel challenge never witnessed in more than a century. The socioeconomic and health damage wrought on us will take generations to undo.
However, every trial brings the best in humanity. Since, scientists and medical researchers have conducted several experiments and found some working vaccines. Several countries have already procured coronavirus vaccine and started administering them on their citizens with positive results.
However, Kenya and other developing countries are struggling to access the vaccine. This is the reason we are upbeat with latest development, where the country’s medicines regulator has approved the use of one of the vaccines, AstraZeneca, which by all indications may be made available in the next few weeks. Opinions are divided but the general thrust is that AstraZeneca offers hope in preventing the disease.
Kenya’s Pharmacy and Poisons Board has investigated the efficacy of the vaccine and given it a clean bill of health. It has acknowledged that the drug can prevent the virus and, importantly, is fit for human use. We hope this is conclusive, given that countries such as South Africa have raised doubts about its usage.
Vaccine development is a rigorous process and fraught with perils. Extreme care must be taken to guarantee efficacy and safety of any drug. Nothing should be left to chance. This is the responsibility of the board.
Beyond the approval, the country has to grapple with costs of acquiring the vaccine and ensure 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.