Kenya to acquire COVID-19 vaccine doses from DR Congo

Mr Mutahi Kagwe, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Health

By The Weekly Vision

Kenya’s Ministry of Health has intensified efforts to procure more COVID-19 vaccine doses amid the emergence of new variants and the likelihood of a fourth wave of infections in July.

“The government is expecting an additional 150,000 doses from other countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo where there is no capacity to administer vaccine doses before they expire in June this year,” Mutahi Kagwe, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Health, said in a television interview on Thursday.

There are about 100,000 vaccine doses remaining in Kenya out of 1.02 million doses that were acquired from AstraZeneca through the COVAX facility, the CS said

The government is exploring diverse options to plug a huge shortfall of vaccine doses and ensure high-risk groups including the elderly and essential workers are fully immunized against the coronavirus, he said. Kenya will leverage the acquisition of vaccine doses from those countries alongside donations and purchases from different manufacturers to ensure inoculation against the virus does not stall amid the global supply crunch, Kagwe said.

There are about 100,000 vaccine doses remaining in Kenya out of 1.02 million doses that were acquired from AstraZeneca through the COVAX facility, he said.

Kenya has vaccinated about 950,000 people against COVID-19, including teachers, security officers, healthcare workers and citizens aged 58 years and above, since the exercise began in early March. The east African nation has ordered 30 million doses of the Johnson&Johnson vaccine, whose phased delivery will extend until next year, in a bid to inoculate about 60 percent of the population.

Kenya’s COVID-19 caseload stood at 166,876 on Thursday, with 3,040 fatalities and 114,285 recoveries.  Kenya has recorded more than 20 cases of B.1.617, the coronavirus strain first reported in India, that are concentrated in the country’s second and third largest cities of Mombasa and Kisumu

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