Kenya's move to launch Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing plant is in line with efforts to curb future supply hitches which have derailed efforts to vaccinate the country's adult population.

Kenya has moved closer to constructing Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing plant after the country opened bids for the investment.

Through an international tender advertised by the Kenya Bio Vax Institute, Kenya seeks a consultant for the firm’s assembly and installation sites.

The State is at the same time looking for a company to design, build, commission, and maintain a fully-fledged vaccine manufacturing facility as it prepares to start local manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines by April this year.

This, according to the Ministry of Health, is in an effort to curb future supply hitches which have derailed efforts to vaccinate the country’s adult population.

established last year, Kenya Bio Vax Institute is a state-owned commercial and manufacturing company dealing with the production of specialized health products and technologies among them vaccines, therapeutics, and other biomedical products.

The Ministry of Health CS Mutahi Kagwe noted that the plant, which will be set up at the current Kemsa grounds in Embakasi is expected to cost about Kes2.5 billion.

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“We have taken three godowns where the equipment is going to be put. We are in the process of renovating those godowns, changing the place, and securing the area. We are not going to put up new buildings, for now. We will use what we have so that the money we have Kes2.5 billion will be used for installation of the equipment alone,” Mr Kagwe said.

“We are not only talking about Covid-19 vaccines, but we are also talking about other vaccines; polio vaccines, malaria vaccines and all the vaccines that we can make in the country,” the CS added.

Mr Kagwe noted that the government is working to ensure local manufacturing of pharmaceuticals is something that is being done in Kenya. 

During the inauguration of the institute’s board in December, last year, CS Kagwe noted that the company currently imports over 70 percent of the country’s medical products, including vaccines and Biologicals.

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