Fake Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine found in Nairobi, 2 arrested

Suspects arrested at a health facility along Thika Road

A box of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine vials

Police have apprehended two suspects believed to have administered a fake version of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine.

The two suspects - Wallace Mugendi and Kenneth Mukundi - were arrested at the Crane Hospital along Lumumba Drive, Roysambu constituency.

According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) members of the public raised alarm over a Sh3,000 fee imposed by the two for the injection.

Ministry of Health (MoH) guidelines require all approved health facilities to administer the Covid-19 vaccine free-of-charge in all parts of the country.

"I want to take this opportunity to reiterate to all of us, that all the vaccines we have in this country are offered free of charge to the citizens. All the vaccines which are either coming through our friends and partners or through the use of public funds to procure, are provided to faith-based facilities, private facilities, public facilities at absolutely no cost," Health PS Susan Mochache stated last week.

Illegal vaccination is said to have occurred between July and August 2021 with the operations having been stopped on September 7th.

The suspects were presented before Milimani Law Courts Senior Principal Magistrate Synkian Tobiko, who ruled to have them detained for five days to allow for investigations.

They are set to appear in court on September 14, 2021 to respond to the charges levelled against them.

The two are also facing charges for impersonating medical doctors.

Johnson and Johnson Vaccine in Kenya

According to MoH, Kenya received its first consignment of the one-time Johnson and Johnson vaccine on September 4, 2021.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe announced that they had been rolled out to administering facilities on September 6, 2021.

One of the concerns around the facilities allowed to administer the Covid-19 vaccines has been their capacity to adequately store the vials. The J&J vaccine, for example, requires to be stored at +2°C to +8°C but can be frozen and stored at -20°C.

The latest report by MoH indicates that by September 7th, 2021, a total of 2,934,285 vaccines had so far been administered across the country.

Of these, total first doses were 2,117,075 while second doses were 817,210. The uptake of the second dose among those who received their first dose was at 38.6% with the majority being males at 55% while females were at 45%, fully vaccinated adults being 3%.

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