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Hope as Kenyan Researchers Develop Covid-19 Vaccine

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Kenya could become one of the first countries to discover a vaccine for Coronavirus, or Covid-19, if trials set to begin in a matter of weeks prove successful.

The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), the government run-research centre, says it will soon launch a Coronavirus vaccine once it gets the go-ahead from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and the Ministry of Health.

The Director-General of the Institute, Prof Kombe Yeri, said preparations for the launch of the vaccine are underway.

For trials to commence, KEMRI says it has to ensure that the vaccine is safe for humans and at least 40 volunteers are available for the first phase of trials. Later the number will be increased to 300.

Speaking when he received Parliamentary Health Committee led by Chairperson Sabina Chege Thursday last week at the institute’s offices in Kilifi, Prof Kombe said he is optimistic that the vaccine will be a success.

Vaccine efforts come at a time the government is sounding a warning on a resurgence in the Covid-19 infections with counties that had flatten beginning to shoot up again.

Health chief administrative secretary (CAS), Dr. Mercy Mwangangi, said the government is closely monitoring the trends in Mombasa and Turkana which have  recorded high numbers lately. “Whereas it might seem like a surge, we cannot conclusively state so without proper facts. However, our team of experts will be able to adequately advice,” said the CAS.

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She also noted the emerging trend of gatherings among communities, asserting that while the government has revised protocols to have 100 people to attend weddings and funerals, those in attendance must strictly observe the containment measures.

“The guidelines include wearing of face masks, avoiding shaking of hands, and maintaining social and physical distance. The old and vulnerable people with underlying conditions must avoid all forms of gatherings. If we have to curtail the spread of the virus, we must take personal responsibilities for our actions,” she added.

 “We do not want to see a new wave of the virus emerging, and spreading through our counties because of our negligence,” she said.  “The time to act is now!” [ Additional reporting by KNA ]

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BT Correspondent
BT Correspondenthttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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