Target to vaccinate 10 million adults by December still remains priority in coronavirus war
The government is set to receive consignments of a wide range of Covid-19 vaccines as it rushes to vaccinate up to 10 million adults by the end of this year.
Next Monday, the country will be handed 1.8 million jabs of the two mRNA Moderna vaccines, as well as a yet to be announced quantity of the much awaited single-shot Viral Vector Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The J&J vaccine doses are among a cumulative 13 million doses to be relayed to the country in several consignments through the Africa Union (AU), head of the national vaccine deployment task force, Dr Willis Akhwale confirmed this yesterday as the country recorded 1,488 positive cases in 24 hours.
This number was derived from 9, 773 samples pushing up the positivity rate to 15.2 per cent from 11.9 per cent on Monday when 679 people tested positive for the disease from 5, 693 tests.
Akhwale said the arrival of these consignments will be followed by approximately 1.8 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in September.
“The two dose mRNA vaccine which according to scientists has an efficacy level of at least 91 per cent against the Covid-19 virus, shall ship with its unique storage units capable of maintaining temperatures of -70°,” he added.
Following the outlined programme, the country os expected to accelerate its vaccine deployment plan announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta earlier this year.
“We will vaccinate the entire adult population of 26 million Kenyans by 2022,” he said.
Akhwale said children between 12-15 years of age may begin to receive the Pfizer jab, as is currently being practiced in the United States.
“If it is being done in the US we will also adopt it here,” he said.
Health Acting Director General Dr Patrick Amoth recently cited the possibility of Kenya practicing mix-and-match with the Pfizer vaccine.
Last night, the ministry received more AstraZeneca vaccines from the UK, a boost to the ongoing national vaccine campaign.
As of August 16, a total of 2.1 million vaccines had so far been administered across the country, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said.
By yesterday the persons aged 58 years and above who have taken the second dose are 229, 699, others 223, 607, health workers 127, 457, teachers 111, 805, while there are 61, 974 security officers who have taken the second AstraZeneca jab.
Yesterday, Kagwe said total confirmed positive cases now stand at 222, 894 from 2.2 million tests.
The government is concerned about the increase of hospitalisations for people suffering from Covid-19 requiring oxygen, the CS said.
“I am therefore appealing to our county governments to improve their oxygen capacity by improving infrastructure and supply of the commodity to health facilities,” he said.
Kenya continues to receive Covid-19 vaccines to mitigate severe cases of the coronavirus disease.
Meanwhile, the US government will announce that Americans should get booster shots for coronavirus vaccines eight months after their last shot, part of a campaign that could begin as early as mid-September, according to US media.
The move could be announced as early as this week, The New York Times reported, citing unnamed sources in President Joe Biden’s administration.
The campaign is likely to kick off with booster shots for nursing home residents and health care workers, followed by the elderly, all of whom were among the first to be eligible to receive their initial vaccinations. The general public would then follow, according to the Times.
US officials are considering whether a third dose should be the same type of vaccine - Moderna or Pfizer - as the first two.