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Covid-19 vaccine to be administered today

By BELDEEN WALIAULA | 1 month ago


MoH Head of National Vaccine and Immunization Program Dr Collins Tabu and Bio-Medical Engineer Catherine Silali at Kitengela Central Vaccine depot on March 4, 2021. [Boniface Okendo,Standard]

The first jab of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be administered today to the first Kenyan at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

The vaccination is set to begin at noon as 10 healthcare workers are set to receive the vaccines today.

The 10 will be drawn from different high-risk departments of the hospital such as the ICU, Dental care unit, potters and security personnel.

The healthworkers will be mandated to train other staff members across other county hospitals where the jab will be administered.

“We will use the vaccines as training that will be disseminated to counties,” said Dr Richard Aya, who is leading the vaccination process at KNH.

How to do it

The process of getting vaccinated is simple. One needs to be registered then go to triage where vitals are checked.

If one's temperature is high or above 38 degrees they will not proceed to the next stage. If the vitals are approved, one will give consent in written form then proceed to be vaccinated.

Once one gets the jab, they will wait for 15 to 30 minutes before being discharged. They will be given an acknowledgement letter that they have received the jab.

The Ministry of Health has developed a deployment plan for the vaccines, with healthcare workers and other essential workers, including security personnel and teachers, being offered the vaccine first.

Vaccines will be moved from the central vaccine store in Kitengela, Kajoado County,  to nine regional vaccine stores, from where the counties will collect and distribute the doses to local hospitals at the county and sub-county levels.

The first vaccination sites will be one health facility per county, the national referral hospitals, and select private health facilities.

According to the initial distribution plan, Kenyatta National Hospital is among the level six hospitals set to receive the vaccines.

KNH will receive 12,000 doses from the 495,000 doses that have been distributed in the first batch of 1.02 million doses that arrived in the country.

Other level-six hospitals set to receive the vaccine include Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral hospital, National Spinal Injury Hospital, Mathari Hospital, and KNH Othaya Annex. 

Kenya's strategy is a comprehensive one that goes up to June 2023, by which time the government expects it will have covered 30 per cent of the population.

Once more doses and funds become available, the target might change.

The second batch of the remaining vaccines (525,000 doses) is expected to be distributed soon after, as the second shipment of the vaccines is expected in the country by April.

While flagging off the vaccine at the central vaccine store in Kitengela on Thursday, President Uhuru Kenyatta said his government was working to ensure more Kenyans will be vaccinated as a way of minimising the spread of the virus

“We are standing here today to receive the vaccines barely a few weeks after the most developed countries got their vaccines and we are now beginning our own process of vaccination. Whereas previously we would have to wait for years and years before getting it. End of March or April we will receive another batch,” said Uhuru.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is seen as the only shot the country has to reduce the spread of the virus.

“This consignment is an ammunition that we need to fight this coronavirus war,” said Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on Tuesday night when he received the vaccines at the JKIA.

Even as the healthcare workers are set to receive their jabs starting today, Covid-19 numbers in the country have been on an upward trajectory in the past week.

On Thursday the positivity rate of Covid-19 infections in the country was at 8.4 per cent with 65 people admitted to the ICU.

Kenya received one million Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines Tuesday night, the first East African nation to get a shipment of the vaccines. Only a few nations in Africa have begun administering vaccines this includes Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, and Senegal.

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