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Kenya receives first batch of Pfizer vaccines from the US government




An elderly man gets injected vaccinated at the Kerugoya Referral Centre. Kenya on Friday received 795,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine from the US government. [File, Standard]

Kenya on Friday got a shot in the arm in her fight against Covid-19 after receiving more than 790,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine from the US government.

Speaking after receiving the consignment at the Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache said the 795,000 Pfizer vaccines are part of the 2.03 doses promised by the US government.

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She said an additional 1.2 million is expected to arrive late in December.

“On behalf of the Ministry of Health and all Kenyans, I sincerely thank the government of the United States for the kind donation,” Mochache said.

“The shipment is the first of the 2.03 million doses of vaccines to Kenya by the US government with a further 1.2 million doses of Pfizer vaccines scheduled to be delivered later in the year,” she said.

Pfizer is the fourth type of vaccine to be deployed in the country after AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson.

The latest batch takes to 6.3 million the total number of doses received so far.

According to Mochache, health workers have been trained to ensure safety while issuing vaccines.

She said unlike other vaccines, Pfizer will be transported straight to nine regional stores already equipped with ultra-low freezers.

With Pfizer once the container is opened they cannot be frozen again. They will be stored between 2-8 degrees while opened and can last only for 28 days.

She said the ministry will roll out the new vaccine in hospitals that can vaccinate over 500 people in a week.

The PS urged Kenyans to go for the Covid-19 jab to ensure all their details are uploaded in the ‘Chanjo’ system to help the government monitor the process.

US Chargé d'affaires Eric William Kneedler, who was also present at the ceremony, said the US government remains committed to support Kenya achieve its objective of vaccinating its entire adult population.

He urged all Kenyans to visit health facilities and get the jab so that the government can open up the country.

Over 3.2 million Kenyans have received at least one vaccine dose, while over 844, 110 have been fully vaccinated as of September 15.

The government says it plans to vaccinate 10 million people by December with 26 million expected to be vaccinated by the end of next year. Kenya has so far administered 3.1 per cent of the country’s adult population.

The ministry aims to start vaccinating 150,000 people daily before the end of September. The focus is to protect those at the greatest risk of infection.

The country has so far registered a total of 245,337 Covid-19 cases with cumulated tests now standing at 2, 478, 820.

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