In response to the accusations by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops concerning the alleged additions of a hormone to the tetanus vaccine, representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in a statement:
“WHO and UNICEF confirm that the vaccines are safe and are procured from a pre-qualified manufacturer. This safety is assured through a three-pronged global testing system and the vaccine has reached more than 130 million women with at least two doses of TT vaccines in 52 countries,” wrote WHO’s Custodia Mandlhate and Pirkko Heinonen from UNICEF.
They added: “The World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund express their deep concern about the misinformation circulating in the media on the quality of the Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine in Kenya.”
“We have taken note of test results claiming to show levels of hCG in samples submitted to some clinical laboratories,” the WHO/UNICEF officials said.
“However it is important to note that testing for the content of a medicine, e.g., TT Vaccine, needs to be done in a suitable laboratory and from a sample of the actual medicine/vaccine obtained from an unopened pack and not a blood sample. Furthermore the Pharmacy and Poisons Board – the legally mandated National Regulatory Authority- has the capacity and mandate to determine the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines and to advise the Government accordingly.”
“Given most tetanus cases in Kenya are among newborns, the target group of Kenya’s TT vaccination campaigns is girls and women (15-49 yrs), with a particular emphasis on those in the most marginalized areas. We note with concern that Kenya is one of the 25 countries where tetanus is still a public health problem, killing hundreds of newborns every year,” they said.