Kenya set to vaccinate 1.25 mn before June
Nairobi, Jan 31 (IANS) Kenya’s Ministry of Health said that 1.25 million people will be vaccinated against Covid-19 before the end of June.
Mercy Mwangangi, chief administrative secretary in the Ministry of Health said on Friday that the government has prioritized the vaccination that will start in February to June, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.
“The people to be covered in this period include frontline health workers and all staff working in health facilities both in public and private sector,” Mwangangi told journalists in Nairobi.
She noted that workers undertaking essential services in priority sectors like security and immigration will also be vaccinated during the period.
The official further revealed that 9.7 million Kenyans, including persons above 18 years of age with underlying health conditions will be vaccinated from July to June 2022.
“It is important to note that if vaccines become available sooner than expected and resources are available, the targets may change,” she added.
Mwangangi observed that the government is working towards a smooth introduction of the vaccine by ensuring that all logistical arrangements are in place for the expected delivery of vaccines before the end of February.
“Kenya has resolved to adopt a vaccine whose emergency use authorization has the approval of a stringent regulatory authority like the World Health Organization,” Mwangangi added.
She said that through Covid-19 vaccines global access facility (COVAX), Kenya will receive 24 million doses of vaccines and also procure 11 million doses from other mechanisms to vaccinate nearly 16 million people, about 30 per cent of the population, over a period of 18 months.
She added that the government has set up a safety monitoring system to investigate and take up immediate measures in consultation with the Pharmacy and Poison Board (PPB) in case of any reported adverse effects from the vaccine.
Mwangangi said that modelling teams are currently assessing the situation in all parts of the country to determine whether the country has flattened the Covid-19 infection curve.
“Our positivity rate has been fluctuating between three and 10 per cent in recent times,” she revealed, noting that the government has established vaccination infrastructure with central storage facilities in Nairobi for vaccines requiring cold chains of up to minus 20 Celsius and some limited capacity for minus 70 Celsius in the major urban areas.
Kenya has registered 100,563 positive cases since the outbreak of the disease in March 2020 after testing a cumulative figure of 1.177 million people as of Friday.
So far, 1,753 people have died from the disease while a total of 83,821 patients have recovered from the disease.