The World Health Organization has warned Kenya to be aware of fake Covid-19 vaccines that are still circulating in Uganda.
WHO has urged Uganda’s neighbouring countries to be on the alert.
According to WHO, the products are falsified AstraZeneca vaccines which Serum Institute of India, manufacturer of the genuine ones, has confirmed to be fake.
“The falsified products were reported to WHO in July and August 2021,” WHO said in a statement.
“WHO requests increased vigilance within the supply chains of countries and regions likely to be affected by these falsified products.”
No falsified vaccines have been reported in Kenya so far, but some health facilities have been charging illegally for the free vaccine, the Ministry of Health says.
“The DCI has moved in some facilities that have been illegally vaccinating people for Covid-19 and charging them for that vaccination and I would like to tell Kenyans that such exercises that are going on are illegal,” Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said last month when the fake products were first reported in Uganda.
He warned Kenyans against getting the Covid-19 vaccine from unauthorised facilities, especially those that claim to offer Covid-19 certificates.
“Chances are that you are not even being vaccinated with proper vaccines. There is every possibility that you are even being vaccinated with water and paying for it and therefore I want to warn the country and Kenyans at large first, vaccination in Kenya is free, nobody should be charging you for it,” he added.
The WHO requested authorities in Uganda and neighbouring regions to increase alertness.
In Kenya, all vaccines have so far been imported through the Covax facility and are administered in centres listed by the ministry.
In Uganda, the falsified vaccines were brought in when infections were high at 1,700 cases daily and there was a shortage of vaccines.
Last week, the Uganda State House Health Monitoring Unit, and the police revealed that over 800 people got injected with water, according to tests done by the country’s Directorate of Government Analytical Laboratory.