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COVID-19: All set for Moderna vaccine uptake in Kenya

By Ben Kirira On Mon, 23 Aug, 2021 11:36 | 2 mins read
Representatives from the government receiving the consignment of vaccines at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport, Nairobi on Monday, August 23.PHOTO/COURTESY

Nairobi county residents might, from mid-day today, begin accessing the Moderna vaccines at health facilities in the capital city, while distribution from the Kitengela main store to the rest of the country is set to kick off today.

This is after 880,460 doses of the 2-dose mRNA Moderna vaccine landed in Kenya at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 6:15 am.

The vaccines are part of a United States government donation of 1.8 million doses of the Moderna vaccine through the global COVAX facility. Until now, Kenya has received a total of 3.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary in a statement read on his behalf by Principal Secretary Susan Mochache, says 1.76 million Pfizer vaccines are further expected to arrive in mid-September.

In preparation for its storage, Kenya has since received freezers from the Japanese company JAICA, with not only a capacity to accommodate 3 million vaccine doses but to store between 12°c -70°c.

Most recent statistics from the Ministry of Health indicate that 1.6 million Kenyans have received the first dose of Astrazeneca vaccine, whereas 780,000 Kenyans are fully vaccinated. However, 70% of Covid-19 related fatalities are of persons above 50 years of age, and those with underlying conditions.

“So far 1,615,687 Kenyans have received their 1st dose and 780,377 Kenyans are now fully vaccinated. We continue to be encouraged by the increasing uptake of the vaccines in the country,” Mutahi said.

While prioritizing these groups in vaccines rollout, Kenya (before end of September) aims to administer 150,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines on a daily basis.

To achieve this, the government shall ramp up the number of facilities offering vaccines from the current 800 to 3000. Recently, a high of 70,000 vaccinations was recorded on Friday, August 20, 2021.

“Last week we attained a daily vaccination rate of 40,000 people per day and on Friday we hit a record of over 70,000 vaccinations in a single day placing us on course to achieving our target of administering 150,000 doses daily before the end of September,” he explained.

Kenyans continue to be urged to take the vaccine to avoid severe covid-19 illness, as the Ministry of Health points out its aim to reduce hospitalizations.

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