KMA STATEMENT ON THE COVID-19 VACCINE PRICING.

4th April ,2021.

The Kenya Medical Association is a professional association bringing together registered medical practitioners and dentists in Kenya, with the twin mission of championing for the welfare of doctors and advocating for quality health care for all.
Pursuant to the KMA mission, we are mandated to engage the national and county governments and any other individual or organization that may be useful in improving the welfare of doctors and the quality of health care in this country.
Kenya Medical Association would like to express its concern on the commercialization of the Sputnik -V vaccine which has locked out many Kenyans from accessing the vaccine contrary to an earlier assurance that the vaccines will be available to the population for free or at a small surcharge fee. This has set a dangerous precedent that can result in the vaccines being priced out of the market and leaving out more than 40 % of Kenyans who live below the poverty line. Vaccines are our last hope in controlling the covid 19 pandemic and we are troubled that the high mark ups for retailers might lock out millions of people from accessing the vaccines.
We also note that the vaccines roll out is being conducted in a haphazard manner in the last few weeks locking out the Phase 1 and the above 58 years old senior citizens. The Ministry of Health should stick to the Phase 1 and accelerated Phase 2 approach in order to ensure that the most vulnerable in the society are protected first. Indeed, this is the well accepted approach world over which has been effective in reducing the number of deaths from COVID -19 infection.
We support the initiative announced by the Ministry of Health where the government will be the only entity to engage and import the vaccines directly from the manufacturers. In situations where a Public Private Partnership (PPP) will be required to fast-track the vaccination of Kenyans, we recommend the following:
1. That the call for expression of interest be done in an open and transparent manner through the print media to ensure the process is accountable.
2. The importation, pricing and roll out of the vaccine should be aligned to National and Global Policies and Strategies.
3. That the Vaccines to be imported are WHO approved and meet the global safety standards thus expanding trust in the vaccines.
4. The Vaccines to be imported should be those shown to be effective against the local strains of COVID 19 virus in the country and region.
5. The Vaccines are affordable and free from profiteering as was the case with the PPEs at the start of the pandemic.
6. That it is done in a manner that is sustainable and which ensures that one has access to the total dosage of the vaccines or a booster dose if necessary.
Assuring all Kenyans access to both doses of the vaccine in their respective risk categories will prevent panic and stampede. The vaccination process should be highly ethical and transparent. All forms of fraud and cheating by both providers and consumers should be discouraged, monitored and heavily punished irrespective of the status of the culprit. We do believe that if this is done, it will ensure that there is an equitable roll out of the vaccines in Kenya in a manner that is transparent and accountable.
Kenya Medical Association is available to partner with the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Health in its effort to ensure every citizen is vaccinated to ensure recovery of our health and economy. We continue to urge the public to adhere to the public health protocols recommended by the Ministry of Health that includes hand hygiene with soap & water, wearing of appropriate face masks, observing social distancing and getting vaccinated as simple initiatives to fight the COVID-19 virus.

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