KEMRI to receive Ksh 150M for covid-19 vaccine development from UK Government

kemriBritish deputy high commissioner Julius Court shakes hand with Kemri acting director Sam Kariuki on Thursday

The British government has announced a Ksh 150 million funding KEMRI to build on support for COVID-19 vaccine research.

Speaking in Kilifi on Thursday, the British Deputy High Commissioner Julius Court said the funding will aid in translational genomics and vaccine evaluation.

Court, said the evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines coupled with genomic surveillance is important to guide future COVID-19 policy in Kenya.

“This is particularly true given the unique epidemiological context, characterized by low yet increasing COVID-19 vaccination coverage within a population that has a widespread infection, and a programmatically complex COVID-19 vaccine rollout involving multiple products and schedules,” Court said.

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This programme complements the genomic sequencing support that was announced by the Foreign and Health Secretaries in July 2021 and is expected to further inform Kenya’s response policy and interventions.

The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Acting Director-General Sam Kariuki said the funding will go a long way in Kenya’s quest to produce her own Covid-19 vaccine.

He said the institute is at an advanced stage in the production of the covid-19 vaccine

 Kariuki said the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations will not be giving vaccines to Kenya from 2027.

“The government has already set up a company that will spearhead the production of vaccines. When the GAVI alliance stops the supply then we have two options, to produce or buy the vaccines from manufacturers,” Kariuki said

In addition, Kariuki said the institute has been at the forefront of preventing the spread of the virus.

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