Kagwe assures no harm in long wait for Corona second dose

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 00:00 |
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the press at Afya House in Nairobi. Photo/PD/ALEX MBURU

George Kebaso @Morarak

Kenyans who took the first dosage of Covid-19 in March and were due for the second dose today, will have to wait until next week, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, has said.

Kagwe further downplayed any anxieties among Kenyans on the delay assuring them that there is no cause for alarm, even as the positivity rate dropped further to 3.5 per cent.

The CS said the strength of the first jab - that was administered from March 5 this year when Health Director General Patrick Amoth took the lead - can remain active for a period of up to four months.

According to him the Astrazeneca Vaccine offers over 70 per cent protection.

“But I want to assure Kenyans that those who have already received the first dose are safe and should not worry since they could wait up to four months before they received the second one,”  Kagwe said. 

He explained that delays were caused by the serious situation of the pandemic in countries that were supplying the vaccine such as India.

“A delay in the shipment was inevitable,” the CS said as Covid-19 positive cases dropped by 14 in 24 hours from 86 on Sunday to 72 yesterday with 10 deaths recorded, 8 more from Sunday’s 2. 

The positive cases reported yesterday were from 2,056 samples tested in the last 24 hours.

“The total confirmed cases are now 165,537 from a cumulative 1,746,449 tests conducted so far,” the CS said.

Kagwe said the pandemic situation in India was terrible and as such, the country could not afford to supply Kenya with the AstraZeneca vaccine since demand there was greater than supply.

Equitable access

Kenya received 1.02 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine on March 2, 2021. 

The vaccines were transported by Unicef as part of the Covax facility, which aims to provide equitable access to vaccines for all countries around the world.

By Saturday, 933,826 persons had been vaccinated against the disease that has so far claimed 3,013 lives.

Kagwe called on Kenyans to continue adhering to the public health protocols as directed by the government.

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