The Kenyan government has set in motion plans to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines locally to ensure sufficient supply.
The Ministry of Health is establishing a fill-and-finish facility for Covid-19 vaccines ahead of setting up a full-scale manufacturing plant.
A fill and finish facility enables third parties to put ready-made vaccines into vials, seal, and pack them for distribution.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe revealed in an internal vaccination blueprint that the country has started the process of building the filling plant.
A full-fledged vaccine manufacturing plant will then be built by 2024.
“To improve our vaccine supply security, the government has embarked on the local manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines starting with the establishment of a fill-and finish facility through strategic partnerships and technological transfer,” said Mr Kagwe in the National Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment Plan, 2021.
“We aim to start local production during the first quarter of 2022 and have a fully-fledged human vaccine manufacturing capability by 2024.”
According to the blueprint, the number of vaccination sites in Kenya will increase to 3,000, from 800 currently, and the average number of daily inoculations will be doubled to 80,000 by month-end and increase to 150,000 by December.
Kenya plans to vaccinate 26 million adult Kenyans by end of June next year and at least 10 million by Christmas this year.
Meanwhile, CS Kagwe on Wednesday commissioned the newly renovated labs at KEMRI. He was accompanied by US ambassador, Mr Eric Kneedler.
The facility will strengthen the country’s capacity to handle emerging & re-emerging diseases such as COVID- 19 and Ebola.