CS Kagwe: Expect second dose of AstraZeneca jab by early June
Kenyans who received the first dose of the Covi shield vaccine are expected to get their last dose of the AstraZeneca immunization by earliest June 2021, the government has revealed.
Addressing members of the press on Wednesday, May 13, Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe said the second batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine is set to arrive in the country by late May.
“There are no miracles regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine. We have to live with the current situation as we find alternatives. In any case, we have until July to worry about the second dose,” Kagwe said.
Kagwe's statement came as an assurance to already the already immunised Kenyans that the second dose of the vaccine will be available within the revised World Health Organisation (WHO) timelines from eight (8) to 12 weeks.
The CS further revealed that the nationalisation of the Astrazeneca vaccine by the Indian government forced 93 countries around the world to look for alternatives elsewhere.
“Your immunity against the disease is more than 60 per cent meaning that if you get the virus you are likely to suffer fewer symptoms. No one will die because they did not get the second dose,” Kagwe added.
The government as stated by Kagwe is in discussion with various vaccine outlets in China and South Africa to secure extra vaccines to cover the population that may not get the AstraZeneca jab.
“In view of current advise by WHO that the second dose can be taken after eight to twelve weeks for an optimal immune response against Covid-19, the Ministry last week revised the period for the Administration of the 2nd dose of the astraZeneca to twelve weeks.
“This means the country will start administering the second dose from the first week of June,” he said during the May 12 COVID-19 status update which saw the country record 22 deaths and 410 positive cases in 24 hours.
Kagwe added that much as the government expects the shipment of the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the Covax mechanism, it is still pursuing other avenues to ensure that the entire population is immunised against the Coronavirus disease.
“Even as we continue negotiations with Pfizer, the government is working with the African Union and has committed to secure 30 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine to enable Kenya to cover sixty per cent of the adult population and thus attain herd immunity within a year,” Kagwe said.
He added that the recent development in the global COVID-19 vaccine supply landscape, especially those produced by the Serum Institute of India, caused delays in deliveries of Covax vaccines scheduled for the period April and May 2021.