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Home / Health & Science

Kenya gets over 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca, other vaccines on the way

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy ROSE MUKONYO | Thu,Aug 19 2021 09:09:06 EAT
By ROSE MUKONYO | Thu,Aug 19 2021 09:09:06 EAT


Julius Court, Deputy British High Commissioner, Alex Gitari, Managing director at Kenya Airports Authority and Senior Deputy Director of Medical Services Ministry of Health Patrick Amoth at JKIA on August 17, 2021 after receiving a donation of 407,000 doses of the Astrazeneca vaccine from the United Kingdom. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Kenya has received an additional 407,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from the United Kingdom to boost the uptake of Covid-19 vaccines.

While receiving the vaccines at JKIA on Tuesday, Acting Director-General of Health Dr Patrick Amoth, said the Ministry of Health is targeting to vaccinate at least 10 million Kenyans by year’s end and 26 million by June 2022. Over two million Kenyans have received at least the first jab.

So far, the UK has donated a total of 817,000 Covid-19 vaccines and Dr Amoth, who was representing Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, said additional vaccines will solve shortage issues besides alleged hesitancy in the uptake of jabs.

Kenya will receive “additional 390,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson and 1.7 million doses of Moderna and 400,000 doses from Canada and Pfizer from the USA by mid-September,” noted Kagwe in his speech read by Amoth.

Salim Ali Hussein, head of the Department of Primary Health Care also said talks are underway to get the Sinovac vaccine from China as they are expected to boost immunity regardless of the coronavirus variants, including the deadly Delta variant.

The vaccines require cold storage, however, Kenya only has facilities for two to eight degrees centigrade which is not enough for Pfizer vaccines. They require ultra-cold storage of below 70 degrees. 

Japan, Dr Salim said, will next week donate the ultra-cold chain storage equipment to supplement already existing facilities, most of which will be placed in strategic regions around the country for distribution of the vaccines. 

The different types of vaccines mean Kenyans are beyond choosing what jab to receive and what types will go to different regions will be decided at the approved vaccination centres, said Dr Salim, adding the vaccinations will be in three phases.

The different types have varying degrees of efficacy with Pfizer having a 91.3 per cent efficiency against Covid-19, Moderna has 94.1 per cent, Johnson & Johnson is at 85 and AstraZeneca at 63 per cent. Dr Salim advices Kenyans not to focus much on the efficiency percentage. 

All were tested on different people from different communities under different conditions and proved to efficiently boost immunity.

And while the initial one targeted frontline workers including medics, teachers, security officers, police and those aged above 58 and 18 years with co-morbidities, the current phase will include more categories.

Kenyans have been asked to register on the Online Chanjo platform before visiting the vaccination centres to manage traffic.

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