The Ministry of Health(MoH) says it will not be joining other countries that have suspended the use of Astrazeneca vaccine over safety fears.
More than a dozen European countries have stopped using the vaccine in the wake of reports that people developed blood clots after being vaccinated.
Since the vaccination drive was rolled out in Kenya on March 5, about 10,000 people have been vaccinated. And according to Health CAS Rashid Aman, there haven’t been any reports of side effects.
“We are continuing administering the vaccines. The information that is out there right now does not seem to indicate any link between vaccine administration and these particular clotting events that have been reported,” Dr Aman said on Wednesday.
He, however, assured that the country remains vigilant and continues to monitor what is happening across the globe and within the country through a data monitoring and reporting system.
“We have not covered a large number. I think we are looking at about 10,000 vaccinated so far. We have not seen any reactions reported in this period and we will continue to monitor as we await the assessments that are being done at a global level,” Aman said.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday gave its support to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and urged countries to continue using the jab.
“At this time, WHO considers that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh its risks and recommends that vaccinations continue,” WHO said in a statement.
The organization said its committee on vaccine safety is assessing the “latest available safety data for the AstraZeneca vaccine. Once that review is completed, WHO will immediately communicate the findings to the public.”
It added that “vaccination against COVID-19 will not reduce illness or deaths from other causes” and that blood clotting events “are known to occur frequently.
“In extensive vaccination campaigns, it is routine for countries to signal potential adverse events following immunization. This does not necessarily mean that the events are linked to vaccination itself, but it is good practice to investigate them.”