The Star (Kenya)
Back-room deals may deny Kenya virus vaccine
Rich countries have pre-ordered over three billion doses through secretly signed Advance Purchase Agreements
Although the world may have several approved Covid-19 vaccines early next year, most Kenyans will be unable access them until 2022, legal experts have warned. ey say rich countries have already purchased in advance all the doses many manufacturers can possibly make in one year. e countries have already pre-ordered more than three billion doses through secretly signed Advance Purchase Agreements.
An analysis co-authored by Kenyan human rights lawyer Allan Maleche and published in e Lancet journal, warns such hoarding will create shortages in poor countries.
“Governments that do not have the financial resources to purchase vaccines at comparable prices or engage in commercial negotiations are at risk of not having access to vaccines when they first become available and of having access delays while manufacturing capacity is fulfilled first by wealthy countries’ orders,” the authors say.
Maleche is a board member of the Global Fund — representing developing countries’ NGOS. He is also the executive director of the Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and Aids (Kelin), a local nonprofit firm.
APAS are legally binding contracts whereby one party, such as a government, commits to purchase from a manufacturer a specific number of doses of a potential vaccine even before it is developed or approved.
Such governments get the first access once the vaccine is approved, leaving poorer nations to miss out or be forced to wait years.
“is is likely to contribute to inequities and potentially extend pandemic’s time frame,” the report says.
It is co-authored by Alexandra Phelan, Mark Eccleston-turner, Michelle Rourke, and Chenguang Wang.
Kenya is betting on an international effort to secure supplies through a joint fund called the Covax facility, spearheaded by Gavi and the World Health Organization.
Covax aims to secure two billion vaccine doses in advance, with one billion to be shared by 92 developing countries and the other billion going to 75 wealthier countries.