Covid-19 vaccine arrives in Kenya on Tuesday. The 1.02 Million doses of Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine will be received as the first batch of 4.1 Million expected.
In the end Kenya hopes to procure 24 Million dosses through Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access (Covax).
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced that the vaccine will be administered first to frontline workers. The workers will include security and healthcare personnel in all counties and will be administered in the county referral hospitals.
Kagwe’s announcement comes in the wake of sprawling political rallies identified as the weak link in the virus spread. The CS noted that the world didn’t have enough vaccines at the moment warning Kenyans against dropping their guards.
After clearance, Unicef are expected to manage the vaccine procurement up-to delivery for storage in Kitengela.
Once there, they will be dispatched to the 9 regional depots in the country including Garrissa, Kisumu, Kakamega and Meru. Other depots include Nairobi, Eldoret, Nyeri and Nakuru.
About 289 government and 195 private Level IV. V and VI hospitals have been chosen for the vaccine dispensation.
The vaccines will be stored at 2-8 °C throughout the entire process explained the Immunization head Mr Collins Taabu. He added that they are expecting 4.1 Million doses with the initial one being 1.02 arriving on Tuesday.
Covid-19 task force chair Mr.Willis Akhwale said that Vaccinations carried out in public hospitals will be free. He further added that a standard fee was being agreed with the shortlisted private hospitals to prevent exploitation.
While other vaccines range between USD 32 (Sh3, 488) to USD 38 (Sh4,142), a dose of Oxford/AstraZeneca is USD 7 (Sh768.39).
According Ministry of Health the vaccination plan will target 1.25 million people in the first Phase. The second phase will target 9.76 million persons above the age of 50 and those with comorbidity.
The third phase includes 4.9 million people and the ministry has advised that the vaccine will follow existing distribution chain.
The Ministry of Health supports acquisition of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to its low prices. The global concerns about the vaccine’s effectiveness against new coronavirus variants, has been rising despite its affordability.
The efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been fluctuating around 75% according to various researches.
Other vaccines as part of Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) include Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnsons, Sinopharm and Sinovac.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is expected amid increased cases of infections in the country.