UoN Gets Covid-19 Vaccine Breakthrough

  • Prof. Stephen Kiama Gitahi took his oath office as the 8th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nairobi on June 5, 2020.
    Prof. Stephen Kiama Gitahi during his installation as the 8th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nairobi on June 5, 2020.
  • The University of Nairobi (UoN) has made great strides in the development of a local Covid-19 vaccine.

    Speaking during the university’s 64th graduation ceremony, Education CAS Zack Kinuthia announced that he had been reliably informed that the institution’s researchers were preparing to break the news to the country. 

    “I commend the researchers from the University of Nairobi for being in the frontline of sharing their knowledge and expertise as we continue to seek answers on containing the Coronavirus and managing the social-economic impact. 

    “I am told our researchers are about to break the news and give us the vaccine for Coronavirus. The country cannot wait to have this done and this will be a great feather on your cap,” Kinuthia announced, speaking to UoN Vice Chancellor Stephen Gitahi.

    Education CAS Zack Kinuthia speaking during UoN's 64th graduation ceremony
    Education CAS Zack Kinuthia speaking during UoN's 64th graduation ceremony
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    The local vaccine is likely to be unveiled sooner than February which is when the Ministry of Health expects the global vaccine to be available in Kenya. 

    The CAS commended the university for using technology in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

    He added that the government was committed to strengthening the national innovation system which he described as an important vehicle for social and economic growth. 

    One of the university staff members, Tony Omwansa was recently appointed as the first CEO of the Kenya National Innovation Agency.

    The VC noted that the institution had done very well in research outputs but lagged behind in the commercialization of the research outputs to generate revenue.

    “Research is one area that the university can leverage to attract more funding and create impact. My administration is keen on maximizing on the opportunities that exist in this untapped field,” VC Gitahi pledged. 

    “In future, we want to work with the industry to create a conducive environment for the incubation of innovations,” he added.

    UoN plans to support start-ups by its faculties and students in order to commercialize them and make the university an innovation hub and centre for practical learning.

    Vice Chancellor Stephen Gitahi speaking during UoN's 64th graduation ceremony on December 11, 2020
    Vice Chancellor Stephen Gitahi speaking during UoN's 64th graduation ceremony on December 11, 2020
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