First batch of Covid-19 vaccine to land in Kenya Tuesday
Kenya is set to receive a million Covid-19 vaccine doses which arrive in the country tomorrow nearly one year after the first coronavirus case was reported in the country.
The announcement came as two more patients succumbed to the disease, pushing the total fatalities to 1, 856 and 325 new infections yesterday from a sample size of 3,282 taking the total number of confirmed positive cases to 105, 973.
Speaking in Nyeri, Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe confirmed that the first batch of the vaccine doses will be in Kenya tomorrow or Wednesday.
He explained that yesterday’s Covid positive cases had risen 10 percent from Saturday’s numbers.
“We are hoping Tuesday or Wednesday morning that the first batch of the vaccine will arrive in the country and after that, the rest will follow. We are expecting 1.9 million doses as of next week,” Kagwe told journalists in Nyeri after attending a Sunday service at Mugunda Catholic Church.
He maintained that health workers will be the first ones to be vaccinated followed by teachers, security personnel and other government human resources.
“I want Kenyans to know that we will receive the first batch of vaccines on Tuesday this coming week. However, this will be for the frontline soldiers in this country, mainly health workers,” said Kagwe.
He, however, warned that even with the arrival of the vaccine, Kenyans should not drop their guard and must continue protecting themselves from the disease whose figures rise daily.
“Just because we will have this vaccine, Kenyans should not drop their guard but go on observing Covid-19 protocols that are in place. In fact history has it that the second and third waves of any pandemic are disastrous,” the CS added.
With regards to the Covid-19 situation in Kenya, Kagwe said 325 people tested positive out of a sample size of 3,282 tested in the last 24 hours.
The chairman of the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment Willis Akhwale said that once the batch arrives in the country, it will be taken to national vaccine store in Kitengela.
After 2-3 days, the vaccine will be distributed to the eight regions (former) provinces and Eldoret. On a positive note, 69 patients have recovered from the disease, with 58 coming from Home Based and Isolation Care while 11 are from various health facilities.
“Total recoveries now stand at 86, 678,” he noted.
In terms of county distribution, Nairobi still remains the hotspot with 207 cases; followed by Busia (30), Mombasa (21), Machakos (14), Kiambu (11), Kajiado 9, Uasin Gishu and Garissa share five (5) cases each, while Nakuru , Meru , and Tharaka Nithi recorded four (4) positive cases each. Other counties include Murang’a and Kericho (2) each, with Kirinyaga, Makueni, Migori, Narok , Kakamega, Bungoma, and West Pokot, a case each. Last week, the Cabinet ratified the Covid-19 vaccine distribution plan.
During the sitting, the Cabinet resolved that the first group to be vaccinated will include health care workers and frontline workers among them security personnel and teachers, vulnerable persons and those in working in the hospitality industry.
Free of charge
As part of the country’s response to the disease, the Cabinet sanctioned heightened surveillance at all of Kenya’s international borders, so as to stem the propagation of the disease into the country.
“The Cabinet noted that the first batch of Covid-19 vaccine will arrive in Kenya the first week of March 2021. In that regard, the Cabinet ratified the distribution framework for the vaccines with first priority given to health care workers, front line workers including those in security and teachers, vulnerable persons and groups and the hospitality sector,” a statement from the Cabinet Office stated.
The Government has assured that the vaccine will be administered free of charge in all public health facilities. Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said recently that the Ministry will also come up with a mechanism of regulating the vaccine cost in private health facilities.
“The vaccine will be free in public facilities, there are discussions to ensure there will be a mechanism of regulating cost at the private sector,” said Mwangangi during a virtual session with medics ahead of the vaccine arrival.
Mwangangi said the vaccine will be administered voluntarily, with plans to intensify public sensitisation.
“As an individual, I will be on the frontline to receive the vaccine, there will be no victimization and the vaccine will be given to those willing,” she said.