Kenya’s quest to vaccinate her entire adult population received a shot in the arm on Tuesday after a further 407,000 doses of the Astrazeneca Covid-19 vaccine arrived in the country.
The vaccines, donated by the UK government, are expected to boost the ongoing vaccination campaign that has seen 2,101,403 people receive at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Speaking at the Jommo Kenyatta International Airport while receiving the donation, Acting Director-General of health Dr. Patrick Amoth said the latest consignment will boost the ongoing vaccination drive even as he thanked the UK government, WHO, UNICEF and partners who are helping in the vaccine deployment plan. “The Ministry of Health has now received a total of 817,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine as a contribution of the British government in Kenya’s fight against Covid-19,” said Amoth.
He said the country is expecting to receive 1.7 million doses of Moderna soon, 393,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine in the next few weeks and 1.8 million doses of Pfizer vaccine in September this year.
Speaking during the event, UK deputy High Commissioner to Kenya Julius Court said the donation was a testament to the cordial relations between Kenya and the United Kingdom. “I’m delighted that the second shipment of our total donation of 817,000 COVID-19 vaccines has arrived in Kenya. We need to keep working together to protect ourselves and our families, and the best way to do that is the vaccine,” observed Court.
UNICEF Kenya’s Chief of Health Dr. Yaron Wolman said the vaccines will help boost the country’s vaccination efforts at a time it is battling a surge in infections. “No one is safe until everyone is safe, especially with new and more infectious variants of the virus emerging. Vaccine equity is essential to ensure that everyone at risk from Covid-19 gets vaccinated wherever they are. Said Wolman.
The UK government had donated another 410,000 doses to Kenya on 31st July this year following President Kenyatta’s recent tour of the United Kingdom.
The latest consignment has raised the number of vaccines received in the country to 2,730,100 with at least 754,542 people having received their second doses by close of the day Tuesday. The proportion of adults fully vaccinated now stands at 2.8 percent.
The first vaccination began on 5th March 2021 with county vaccinations kicking off on 8th of March 2021. The second dose vaccination began on 28th May 2021. The government is conducting the vaccination free of charge and is aiming to vaccinate at least 10 million adults by the end of the year.
The roll out of the national vaccination campaign is being led by the Ministry of Health, with support from WHO, UNICEF, Gavi and other partners.