NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 20 – Kenya’s doses of COVID-19 vaccines are set to start arriving in the country as from April, 2021.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Wednesday gave the clearest indication yet that plans were already at an advanced stage to secure the vaccine, assuring that there will be no logistical challenges in vaccination.
“It is important for us to keep in mind that the African countries especially here in the county the matters of vaccinating are very common with us. We carry out children vaccination almost throughout the year and so unlike some countries that do not have vaccination programs we do have that and so in terms of the personnel and logistics we are ready to do that,” he said.
He made the remarks during a tour of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) with the visiting United Kingdom Foreign Affairs Minister Dominic Raab.
Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache said Kenya had received confirmation from the African Union and the GAVI foundation that the vaccines will be in Kenya by April.
“Leveraging on our existing infrastructure we should be comfortable and ready to receive the vaccines,” she said.
She said that the World Bank had already committed to fund Kenya in purchasing the COVID-19 vaccines.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the AU chairman has already confirmed that East African Community (EAC) members states are expected to receive some 39 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the African Union (AU), which has secured a deal to procure 270 million of the same for all member states.
Some of the vaccines to be supplied include: Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson.
Kenya is expected to receive 10.8 million doses from the African Union.
Visiting UK’s Foreign Minister Raab and Kawe on Wednesday signed a new health partnership that is designed towards maximizing knowledge share between medical professionals in both countries that will aid in the fight against the virus.
Raab has assured of the UK government’s commitment to ensure that it provides technical assistance to the Ministry of Health to help prepare for the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine in the country and ensure that the vaccine gets to those who need it as quickly as possible.