Kenyans have expressed outrage online following remarks by a BBC journalist Fergus Walsh who mentioned Kenya as an expected trial ground for COVID-19 Vaccine. The BBC medical correspondent was speaking about his evaluation of whether the vaccine trials will be successful in the UK when he revealed that the UK is considering trials in Kenya in case they fail to get quick results on their end.
“We could be careful not to over promise because we are desperate for this vaccine to work but the team in Oxford have a really strong record going back 30 years. They have developed successful prototype vaccines against another type of coronavirus, MERS.
“… which has done well in clinical trials, they’ve also developed vaccines against plague, malaria (now) if they don’t get early quick results from the UK they are considering a trial in Kenya where the epidemic of the coronavirus will be on the rise.” He stated
— Thaddeus W Wechuli (@w_wechuli) April 24, 2020
Already, several reports have confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccine trials have been rolled out in the UK after some patients in Oxford received the injections.
The BBC journalist went further to explain that there will be a need for billion doses of the vaccine and they will have to reach an agreement over the countries and groups of people who should get the vaccine first.
Kenyans have lamented that this consideration could be an indication that they are viewed as Guinea pigs. Some political leaders like Ledama Ole Kina are among those who shared their thought on the same.
Apart from Kenyans, a popular British Actress Letitia Wright who is known for her leading role in Black panther film also expressed her disgust in regard to such commentary.
lemme just leave this here. 🤔🤭
Kenya yeah??? pic.twitter.com/Dk8dVl9sPi
— Letitia Wright (@letitiawright) April 23, 2020
These remarks come weeks after online uproar resulted in response to French doctors who had suggested Africa as the ground for coronavirus vaccine trials.
Here are some of the reactions
— M.J (@DrOctiviusBrine) April 24, 2020
Welcome to Kenya where the former colonial masters/ neocolonialist still believe we are not fit to be humans! We are now officially Guinea pig! Fit for #COVID19 vaccine trials! That’s why I doubt the numbers? It’s either about the benjamins or extinction!! UK numbers vs Kenya ??? pic.twitter.com/7TKrhSjKjm
— Sen. Ledama Olekina (@ledamalekina) April 24, 2020
We are his guinea pigs. Idiot!! pic.twitter.com/vtkZkBV39c
— Robert Alai (@RobertAlai) April 24, 2020
Fergus Walsh,a racist,says if they don't get quick results from UK they gonna try #COVID19 Vaccine tests in Kenya.Mazafaka wants kill us by infecting thousands with the virus like they did with the HIV. pic.twitter.com/Pxwf6zctvg
— D3D@N K1M@NZ1 (@Kimanzi_Don) April 24, 2020
From the USA to France and now to the UK, there's visible disappointment among wazungus that the black man in Africa is not dying of COVID-19 as much as the white man is. Why they would want vaccine trials to be done in Africa/Kenya is suspect. pic.twitter.com/rDVIcTY9RK
— Bobby (@Bob_Odhiambo) April 24, 2020