Health workers, teachers, police officers and the elderly will be the first in line to receive doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines that arrived in the country on Tuesday night.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe led a high-level government team to receive Kenya’s first batch of 1.02 million AstraZeneca at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, a quantity sufficient to vaccinate 500,000 people.
Kenya is now among several African countries that have received their first batches of coronavirus vaccines under the global Covax scheme. Other African countries that have received the vaccines are Ivory Coast, Ghana, DR Congo, Angola and Gambia.
The Covax scheme is a World Health Organization (WHO) initiative to ensure there is a global and equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccine with an aim of delivering more than two billion doses to people in 190 countries.
The Ministry of Health national Covid-19 vaccination plan, the first phase of vaccination will target frontline health workers by focusing on administration sites that reach high-risk populations.
Administration sites considered a priority include hospitals in levels four, five, and six, including public and private health centres.
WHO, in its advice to countries, urged countries to ensure that health workers have been vaccinated by early April.
In the first phase of the vaccination programme, the national government will spend over Sh900 million with nearly two-thirds of the cash used for storage, distribution, and injecting devices.