Govt Speaks on Covid-19 Vaccine Trials on 400 Medics

  • Medical practitioners at a Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Medical practitioners at a Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
  • The government has denied knowledge of Covid-19 vaccine trails that are set to be conducted on 400 health workers from Kilifi and Mombasa.

    According to a report, the trial apparently set to begin on Sunday, May 31, will be conducted by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri)-Wellcome Trust Research Programme based in Kilifi.

    Speaking to, new vice-president of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board and MoH acting Director-General, Dr Patrick Amoth, denied knowledge of vaccine trials in the country.

    An image of a Covid-19 vaccine
    A woman holds a small bottle labelled with a "Vaccine Covid-19" sticker taken on April 10, 2020.
    Daily Sabah

    "We are not doing any Covid-19 vaccine trials in Kenya yet. I only know of the WHO trials in drugs used for treating Covid-19," noted Amoth.

    Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna told our newsdesk that the government was yet to permit any trail vaccines in the country.

    "There is no planned vaccine trial in Kenya. That is the position and if at all there will be one then our people will be notified appropriately using the well-laid-out channels.

    "There are protocols to be followed when there is any vaccine trial. Here in Kenya, we said that we will never be used as guinea pigs, the President was very clear," insisted Oguna.

    Oguna added that no request had come forward to have a vaccine trial in the country and declined to comment on a report of having the vaccine tested in Kenya.

    According to the WHO official portal the trial is registered under number PACTR202005681895696 and is titled, "A study to determine if a new COVID-19 vaccine safely generates protective immune responses in adults in Kenya."

    The recruitment status of the trial tests in the country is "not recruiting" but the site indicates that there is prospective registration though the link to the article has been taken down.

    The study, if it comes to frutition, will enroll doctors, nurses, clinical officers, pharmacists, mortuary attendants and allied healthcare professionals.

    In response to an inquiry by the Standard, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) stated that it was open to having the tests conducted in the country.

    "KEMRI has plans to be part of this global race to find an effective vaccine by trialing the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in Kilifi," read a response in part. 

    Kilifi and Mombasa were earmarked due to the high numbers of Covid-19 cases have been reported.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday April 26, dismissed reports of Covid-19 vaccine tests in Kenya by Oxford University.

    An image of Patrick Amoth
    Ministry of Health acting Director-General Dr. Patrick Amoth speaking to the media at Afya House.
    The Standard