Kenya’s Catholic bishops are urging citizens to steer clear of a tetanus vaccine that they argue is a sterilization program in disguise.
The bishops, appearing Tuesday before Kenya’s parliamentary health committee, said that an independent testing of the government-touted tetanus vaccine, targeted at women in the reproductive ages of 14 to 49, revealed it was laced with a birth control hormone called beta human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), the D.C.-based Religion News Service reported.
“We are calling on all Kenyans to avoid the tetanus vaccination campaign because we are convinced it is indeed a disguised population control program,” said Bishop Paul Kariuki, chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops’ health committee.
The bishops also wondered why the campaign was being rolled out in phases and in secrecy, RNS reported.
“To our surprise, the Ministry of Health confirmed it had not tested the vaccine, having trusted it, since it originated from WHO (World Health Organization), a credible organization in matters of health,” Bishop Kariuki said.
The World Health Organization and UNICEF have issued a statement saying allegations of HCG are unfounded. The groups insist the vaccine, which has been used by 130 million women in 52 countries, is safe.
“These allegations are not backed up by evidence, and risk negatively impacting national immunizations programs for children and women,” the WHO and UNICEF statement said, RNS reported.
Government officials say they had samples of the vaccines provided by WHO and the United Nations tested at Nairobi’s Lancet Laboratories and in South Africa for the birth control hormone and found no evidence of HCG, World magazine reported.