Tetanus vaccine deemed safe: Joint committee findings

After a flurry of controversy about a claimed tainted tetanus vaccine in Kenya, results from samples sourced by a joint committee show that the vaccines are safe, according to several African news sources.

A joint statement by the committee of experts found that out of 59 vials tested, 56 tested negative.


Three of these vials, which, the state said, were submitted by the Catholic Church already opened, are the only ones that tested positive.

Co-chairman Fredric Were with School of Medicine at the University of Nairobi said, “We found three batches which were contaminated at the middle of others. The fact is that there is a contamination which is not duplicated in the same batch… our message is that there should be vigilance,” he said.

“The mass vaccination is a safe program and should go on. All that is required is stepped up vigilance; we have no reason to say that no vaccines can take place for the next one year… we have no evidence,” he said.

“The preliminary report could not ascertain the level of contamination. We are still waiting for a conclusive report from the local lab and results from the international lab,” he said.

The committee however said that the routine tetanus immunization program is safe.

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) raised concerns regarding the purity of the Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine in use during the March and subsequent October 2014 tetanus immunization campaign.

KCCB reported to have tested the tetanus vaccine and found it to be contaminated with beta HCG hormone raising public outcry leading to the forming of the joint committee.