Third Eye

Prepare for Covid-19 vaccines in good time

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street in central London early this year. Photo/Courtesy

News of imminent Covid-19 vaccines, though still undergoing final tests, has brought hope and set world economies reverberating.

Already, the US has announced that some of its residents could be vaccinated as early as December 11.

Having morphed from a health hazard to an economic one, the virus-weary global economies are now banking on manufacturers, to know how they will perform in 2020.

All this will boil down to the efficacy of production and distribution, coupled with the cost of the drugs to inform how economies will regenerate after the pandemic shocks.

AstraZeneca and Oxford University on Monday said their drug had proven, on average, 70 per cent effective at stopping the virus after trying it on 23,000 people.

This came days after tests of two other drugs suggested they were more than 90 per cent effective.

As the World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus hailed the latest batch of results as a light at the end of the “long dark tunnel”, he cautioned the world had to ensure drugs were distributed fairly.

He noted that every government rightly wants to do everything it can to protect its people, but added that there is a real risk the poorest and most vulnerable countries will be trampled in the stampede for vaccines.

The global vaccine alliance is putting in place systems to ensure even poor nations can access the vaccine in good time.

However, the apparent off-hand, almost indifferent, attitude by our Health ministry on the eagerly awaited vaccines is baffling.

World over countries are preparing the rollout of the important medicines.

Indeed, announcements of vaccine breakthroughs not only caused stocks in first world economies to rise, they have pushed the leaders to rethink the stringent protocols the governments had imposed.

AFP reported that France could loosen its coronavirus restrictions as the boss of a major airline said proof of vaccination will likely become the only way people can fly in a post-pandemic world.

British Premier Boris Johnson said thanks to a major vaccine breakthrough, “the escape route is in sight” from the coronavirus crisis.

Our authorities should not behave as if Kenyans are immune to the virus. Failure to plan is planning to fail.

Instead of scepticism from the Health Cabinet Secretary and his honchos we urge the government to start thinking of ways to access the vaccines once they are rolled out.

We already have set a bad precedent with procurement of Personal Protection Equipment, let’s not wait until the last minute to create another mess.

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