More vaccinations to level Covid curve

Monday, September 6th, 2021 00:00 |
Health PS Susan Mochache with acting Canadian ambassador to Kenya David Anthony Da Silva, Unicef and Ministry of Health officials inspect a consignment of additional 58,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Canada at the JKIA. Photo/PD/JOHN OCHIENG

The country will be able to flatten the Covid-19 curve by mid this month if more Kenyans continue to get vaccinated, the Ministry of Health said yesterday.

Acting Director General for Health Dr Patrick Amoth exuded confidence the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination is bearing fruit as the positivity rate in the country has been tumbling.

Amoth said they had seen a major drop in the number of those testing positive of Covid-19 due to increased vaccination measures and observation of the laid down health regulations.

“We have seen a decline in the new cases and we project that we shall flatten the curve in the next two to three weeks,” he said.

Morderna vaccines

His sentiments came a day before Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter are expected receive some 880,000 doses of Moderna vaccines from the United States government. 

The consignment is expected to land at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) today. 

The Moderna vaccines is part of the 4.8 million multiple Covid-19 vaccine doses expected in the country in the next two weeks to facilitate vaccination of 80,000 people per day in a revamped immunisation programme.

Apart from Moderna vaccines the other vaccines so far received include Afya 141, 000 Johnson and Johnson vaccines that arrived in the country on Friday through the Covax and 55,000 AstraZeneca doses, that arrived on Saturday from Latvia.

In addition, the country is also expected to receive an estimated two million doses of Sinopharm vaccines from China through the Covax facility.

Following the arrival of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines, national Covid-19 vaccine deployment taskforce chairman Dr Willis Akwhale on Saturday said that the distribution of the vaccines will start today in the counties of Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu and Machakos.

According to him this is because of storage challenges of the vaccine, which ought to be maintained between the temperatures of two and eight degrees.

“From 44,000 per day at the onset of August to the current 76, 000, we intend to start vaccinating 80, 000 daily as we grow gradually to vaccinate 150, 000 per day in the coming months as we bid to reach our target of 10 million adults at the end of the year,” said Akwhale

Amoth made the remarks even as he issued an alert over the outbreak of a new variant in Latin America and the UK following the mutation of the virus, a situation that is raising concern among health experts.

On the new variant, he admitted that they were worried after the virus was reported in Columbia and in the UK.

“We are keenly monitoring the situation as this new variant could lead to more complications or refuse to react to the vaccines,” he said.

HDU patients

But despite the drop in the number of positive cases, he however noted that there were patients still admitted in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and High Dependency Units (HDU) in need of oxygen. 

“Oxygen demands stand at 1,000 cases on a daily basis but we are seeing a positive trajectory in the numbers and we believe that we are on the right track,” he said.

Amoth was addressing the press in Naivasha during a meeting with county officers in charge of health to address emerging conditions in the sector on Friday

“We are meeting officers from the World Health Organisation to review how we reacted to the outbreak of Covid-19 which was declared a pandemic very late,” he said.

At the Naivasha sub-county hospital, the majority of those admitted in the isolation ward were male adults who had not received the vaccine.

According to the Superintendent in charge of the facility Dr Angeline Ithondeka, the fourth wave was more lethal and affected the young compared to previous cases.

The doctor noted that the majority of those admitted had not received the vaccine with only one case of a patient that had received the first dose admitted in the isolation ward.

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