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Government allocates Sh1.2b to cure vaccine shortage

 Medical Services PS Harry Kimtai. [MoH]

The government says that it has allocated Sh1.2 billion for procuring essential vaccines to address an acute shortage of vaccines in hospitals nationwide.

According to the Medical Services PS, Harry Kimtai, the shipment from UNICEF will be delivered in June.

The shortage has disrupted immunization services targeting newborns and children of various ages.

BCG, Oral Polio, and Measles Rubella vaccines are expected to run out of stock nationwide within the next two months while some donor-funded vaccines such as Malaria, HPV, Rotavirus, and Pneumococcal are anticipated to last for three to six months.

“These stockouts put our children and vulnerable populations at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases and potential outbreaks,” said PS Kimtai.

The Ministry of Health has however assured of stop-gap measures already instituted to ensure that no child misses on the vaccines to avoid outbreaks of the diseases.

These include redistribution of vaccines from low-demand hospitals to areas where the demand is high across the country, imploring UNICEF to fast-track delivery of orders already paid for, and lobbying the National Treasury to allocate funds for immunization programs.

“Recognizing that immunization is one of the most effective public health interventions, we are committed to ensuring a consistent and uninterrupted supply of vaccines,” further assured the PS.

The latest interventions follow protests from the Council of Governors that had warned about the worrying situation caused by delays in procurement of the said vaccines.

Failure to receive the vaccines makes the children less immune to the diseases, thus exposing them to future outbreaks.

This can lead to fatalities, paralysis, and respiratory disorders among other conditions.

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