Ministry assures on vaccine rollout

Monday, December 14th, 2020 00:00 |

Kenya is ready for a coronavirus vaccine, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi  said yesterday.

She said the government has put in place an elaborate logistical plan to roll out the vaccine once it is available.

Dr Mwangangi said a team of local researchers incorporated in the University of Oxford partnership with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is working round the clock to ensure the country is on track to have the vaccine.

“Indeed Kenya is a participant in the AstraZeneca clinical trials, where two weeks ago, a team working on those trials was able to brief the President on where they are and progress of the vaccine.

“We are assuring Kenyans that we are on track for a vaccine roll-out,” she said responding to concerns raised by the Committee on Health of the National Assembly during a session at the County Hall.

Chairing the session co-hosted by the Senate Committee on Health, Cherangany MP Joshua Kuttuny said that Kenyans were concerned about this vaccine after seeing many countries being involved in its development, while Kenya is allegedly not a participant.

“Kenyans are asking what the government is doing to ensure that there is availability of the Covid-19 vaccine very soon.

They are worried about sentiments coming from other quarters that Kenya is missing from Oxford university vaccine trials where Brazil, UK and South Africa among others are missing.

“Kindly shed light on what the government is putting place in readiness for that vaccine,” he said.

In response, Mwangangi said that the government already has her estimates of what will be required in terms of vaccine distribution; and logistics, where a priority list has been developed and a communication team already deployed on the ground to prepare for distribution.

“And to assure you all, within perhaps the next few days, we will see a lot of information on how we roll this out.

As we speak right now, yesterday a team on vaccines was in the ministry up to 7pm sharing information on the progress,” the CAS said.

She said information will be coming out soon on the readiness of the government, without specifically indicating the date.

“Do not be afraid, we are covered; we have our priority list, we have identified the healthcare workers who will be integral in the distribution, and we have even engaged the private sector health facilities on the role they will play,” she added.

In October, Kenya began Phase 1 trials of one of the leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates which have been developed by the University of Oxford in partnership with the pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca.

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