Uncertainty over arrival of vaccines in Kenya - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 30 January 2021

Uncertainty over arrival of vaccines in Kenya


The Health ministry has expressed uncertainty over the arrival of vaccines in the country, citing concerns of shortages and stockouts globally.

The country is now banking on Covax (one of three pillars of the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator) for timelines of access and types of the vaccine consignment that will be brought.

This development comes after the ministry promised to procure vaccines by January this year and later changed the time to mid-February.

The tentative date for arrival of vaccines in the country remains mid-February.

“The acquisition of vaccines to the country is a fluid situation and the timelines may change depending on the production,” said Health Cabinet Administrative Secretary Dr Mercy Mwangangi.

Kenya is one of the 69 countries globally that is part of the Covax collaboration and is keen on ensuring the vaccine is accessible to the needy and most vulnerable. Covax has since acquired about two billion doses to be distributed to its partner countries.

“Kenya has resolved to adopt a vaccine whose Emergency Use Authorisation has the approval of a Stringent Regulatory Authority (SRA) like the World Health Organization,” she said.

Safety monitoring

Kenya will therefore receive about 24 million vaccines from Covax alone and another 11 million from other sources.

The jabs will then be administered in three phases for a period of 18 months covering about 30 per cent of the population.

The CAS said an SRA-approved vaccine has undergone the required trials and is therefore fit to be used in human beings.

“As part of its deployment plan, the government has set up a safety monitoring system and any adverse effects reported will be investigated and corrective measures taken up immediately, in consultation with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board,” said Dr Mwangangi.

A vaccination storage facility that is used for storage of vaccines meant for immunisation of children below the age of 5 will be used to store Covid-19 vaccines as well. In case there will be a need for expansion of the facility, plans are underway to do so by the end of 2021.

“This is important so that the saving childhood vaccination programmes are not interrupted,” said Dr Mwangangi.

India the main source

Health Services acting Director-General, Dr Patrick Amoth, also said that the European Union’s plan to block exports will not affect the plan to inoculate people against Covid-19.

On Friday, a Health ministry official who is part of the Covid-19 Advisory Task Force told the Nation that the European Union’s decision would impact Kenya’s vaccination plan, especially the acquisition of Oxford University’s AstraZeneca.

Dr Amoth has said that “in line with the Covax collaboration, we will get most of our vaccines from India”.

World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in Kenya Dr Rudi Eggers also insisted that the WHO and Gavi-Covax collaboration will be keen to ensure Kenyans get their 20 per cent donation of vaccines.

On Friday, the country recorded 141 new coronavirus cases and there was no fatality as a result of the disease. About 64 patients recovered from the disease with 477 others still admitted in various facilities, while 1, 368 are on the Home Based Care plan.

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