Kenyans have expressed concerns after Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi announced that a single Civic 19 vaccine jab would cost Ksh770.
The country is set to acquire the vaccines through the Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the Covax Initiatives of which it is a member.
“Through that facility, we have been able to negotiate to the price of Ksh770 for the cost of one vaccine dose. That applies for whatever one vaccine candidate we get,” CAS Mwangangi stated.
She further revealed that the Ministry of Health had set aside Ksh43 billion for the acquisition of vaccines, however, cited supply chain challenges in the rollout of trial vaccines in the country.
“The reason why we have not begun vaccination is not because of resources, we have the money, but the vaccine candidate doses are not yet available due to supply chain issues,” Mwangangi stated.
Members of the public, however, responded negatively to the announcement by the CAS alleging that there was a ‘scandal brewing’ in the Ministry of Health, while referencing to the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) scandal.
On December 24, 2020, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe revealed that Kenya had made orders for the Astrazeneca vaccine. According to Nation, the CS stated that the vaccine would cost between Ksh335 and Ksh446 per dose.
The disparity between Kagwe’s announcement and CAS Mwangangi’s statement has left Kenyans wondering if a few individuals were already working towards looting public funds.
“Last time you said it is 330, and now you claim 770, media should question this scandal,” Felix Onyango remarked.
“Another vaccine billionaires scandal is coming I sense,” Mohammed Khalif alleged.
“It has doubled all of sudden. Media people should question this. Now, wait for the mother of all scandals!” Another added.
A section of netizens questioned the need for a huge dosage of vaccines yet the country was reporting a flattening Civic 19 curve, owing to the measures put in place by the government.
“Do we really need this vaccine with only 129 positive cases and zero death as of yesterday? Can’t that money be spent on more serious diseases,” Fredrick Munuhe posed.
CS Kagwe had on January 6, 2021, assured Kenyans that the first batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected in the country in the month of February with health workers and teachers expected to the first recipients of the vaccine.
“The first group to get the vaccine will be essential workers especially health workers. It will be on a voluntary basis…we will not force anybody,” Kagwe had stated.
He had informed that the country had ordered 24 million doses of the vaccine, expected to carter for 40 per cent of the population in the country.