KENYA: Tetanus Vaccine Safe but Three samples due for further Tests, says Experts

NAIROBI JANUARY 13, 2015( CISA) – A joint team of experts from the Catholic Church in Kenya and ministry of health have declared the controversial tetanus vaccine safe despite three samples of the vials testing positive for hcg beta sub unit.

The three samples have been taken for further tests.

The experts said while preliminary results from a local laboratory showed that some vials contained beta hcg, majority of those tested were negative.

“The total number of vials was 59. Three of the tested vials were found to contain beta human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). These three vials were collected from the field during the campaign and submitted as open vials having being previously tested in other laboratories,” said the Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Nairobi Prof  Fred Were, who is a co-chair of the committee.

“All the other 56 vials tested were found to be negative for beta HCG, including those with batch numbers corresponding to the three vials that tested positive,” The Standard Newspaper quoted Prof Were as saying.

The joint tests arose after the Catholic Church raised alarm that the vaccine administered to women was laced with the birth control substance.

Nine vials from the Kenya Catholic Bishops Conference (KCCB) were obtained during the March and October 2014 campaign period. They were tested and found to contain beta HCG.

The vials, being open, raised the question of contamination in the chain of collection and storage.

The other 50 samples were obtained from the field and central store with batch numbers corresponding to the ones with KCCB.

The vaccines were submitted to two laboratories – one local and other in Germany. Final results from the local laboratory are expected next week.

The final results will be released to the public as soon as both laboratories submit final results to committee.

Dr Stephen Karanja, Chairman of the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association (KCDA) said that there should be external vigilance and surveillance by healthcare providers on vaccines administered in the country in future.

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