Just days after a joint committee in Kenya said the mass vaccination of tetanus is a safe program and should go on, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) released a lengthy statement that concluded with “We insist that no further mass tetanus vaccination campaigns should be undertaken in Kenya before the vaccines have been appropriately tested and proven to be safe.”
The statement listed the following 19 points:
- Before the March and October 2014 mass tetanus vaccination campaign, the Catholic Church raised concerns about the safety of the vaccine that was being used. This was informed by what had happened in Mexico, Nicaragua and Philippines where WHO/UNICEF had conducted similar campaigns using tetanus toxoid impregnated with beta HCG that causes production of antibodies against the natural HCG resulting in permanent infertility.
- The mass tetanus immunization campaigns in Kenya in March and October 2014 were also sponsored by WHO and UNICEF.
- The Catholic Church requested the Ministry of Health that the vaccines be tested before use to ensure they were safe.
- These requests were rejected by the Ministry of Health.
- Subsequently, the Catholic Church independently sampled nine vaccine vials from the two campaigns with difficulty.
- Six of these vials were tested in five different laboratories here in Kenya. One third of the vials (3/9) were found to be laced with beta HCG.
- The ministry rejected these results citing poor methodology.
- The Parliamentary Health Committee summoned the Ministry of Health top leadership who said they had tested the vaccines used during the mass vaccination campaign and found them safe.
- This parliamentary committee also called the Catholic Church which reported to them that out of the nine vaccine vials sampled, three were found to be laced with beta HCG.
- Faced with these conflicting reports, supposedly from the same laboratories, the Parliamentary Health Committee asked that a joint committee of experts from the Ministry of Health and the Catholic Church be formed.
- The work of the joint committee was to test the vials the Catholic Church and the Ministry of Health had earlier sampled and tested. The testing was to be done in a mutually selected laboratory and the results be communicated to Kenyans.
- When the joint MoH/KCCB committee convened, the Catholic Church brought the nine vials in their custody; seven of them opened during prior testing and two unopened.
- To the shock of the joint committee, the Ministry of Health did not have prior sampled vials that it had claimed to have tested. They did not also have laboratory results from such prior testing. It is not a wonder therefore that all their vials were closed.
- The nine vials from the Catholic Church were tested by the joint KCCB/MOH committee of experts using the most modern and sophisticated method called High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
- Three of the nine vials tested were found to be laced with beta HCG.
- Ten vials presented by the Ministry of Health from its vaccine stores were also tested and found to be free of beta HCG. These results were completed by the testing laboratory on 4th January 2015.
- On 5th and 6th January 2015, the testing laboratory persistently called the joint KCCB/MOH committee of experts wanting to present the results but the Ministry of Health showed great resistance to receiving these results.
- It was only on 8thJanuary 2015 after the KCCB chairman threatened to withdraw from the joint committee that the Ministry of Health requested for an extra day. On the same day, the Ministry of Health submitted 40 vials to the laboratory from their vaccine stores for testing, without consulting or seeking the approval of the joint KCCB/MOH committee. The results of these 40 vials were loaded onto the previously completed results of 19 vials from the joint committee.
- This was aimed at creating a dilution and bias of the 3 vials that were positive out of 9.
In view of these facts, we the Catholic Bishops of Kenya, wish to reiterate that the vaccines used for the mass tetanus vaccination campaigns in March and October 2014 contained some vials laced with beta HCG.
It is worth noting that only the Catholic Church had collected samples during the actual March and October 2014 tetanus vaccination campaigns.
We insist that no further mass tetanus vaccination campaigns should be undertaken in Kenya before the vaccines have been appropriately tested and proven to be safe.