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Kenya to receive first Covid-19 vaccine consignment next week

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy MERCY KAHENDA | Fri,Feb 26 2021 17:08:42 EAT
By MERCY KAHENDA | Fri,Feb 26 2021 17:08:42 EAT


A member of a German Red Cross mobile vaccination team prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. [Reuters]

Kenya will receive its first consignment of the coronavirus vaccine in the first week of March.

The first priority will be given to healthcare workers and frontline workers including security personnel and teachers.

Other groups prioritized in the first batch expected in the country next week include vulnerable groups and hospitality workers.

The announcement was made on Thursday, after a Cabinet meeting chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House.

“The first batch of the country’s COVID-19 vaccines would arrive in Kenya in the first week of March 2021,” read a statement by the Executive Office of the President.

According to the vaccination plan, the first phase will target 1.25 million people, while phase two will target 9.76 million individuals above the age of 50 years and those with comorbidity.

At least 4.9 million people are factored in the third phase.

The country is projected to receive 4.1 million doses of Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine, manufactured by Serum Institute of India.

Other vaccines as part of Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) include; Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

A dose of AstraZeneca is $7 (Sh700) while other vaccines ranges from $32 and $38.

All Covid-19 vaccines are given in two doses, apart from Johnson & Johnson, given a single dose.

The Covid-19 taskforce revealed that the government is considering to allow private facilities sell the vaccines.

If allowed, the facilities will operate under keen watch of the government.

Dr Willis Akhwale, the Chair of the Covid-19 task force said both private and hospitals will be used to carry out the vaccination.

Vaccination in public hospitals will be free, while modality of standard pay in private facilities is still being worked on, to prevent exploitation of Kenyans.

At least 479 Level IV, V and VI hospitals have been selected to be used for dispensation of the vaccine, among them, 195 are private.

Dr Akhwale, warned private facilities against attempting to conduct antibody testing, saying such might result into extra charges that are discouraged.

“Antibody testing is discouraged because it might charge patients more,” said Akhwale said in a recent presentation, on covid-19 vaccination roll out.

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