NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20-The Government now says COVID-19 vaccine will be administered free of charge in all public health facilities.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said the Ministry will also come up with a mechanism of regulating the vaccine cost in private health facilities.
“As it stands today the discussion is that the vaccine will be free in public facilities, there are discussions to ensure there will be a mechanism of regulating cost at the private sector,” said Mwangangi Friday, during a virtual session with medics ahead of the vaccine roll out once it arrives later February.
Mwangangi said the vaccine will be administered voluntarily, with plans to intensify public sensitization.
“As an individual, I will be on the frontline to receive the vaccine, there will be no victimization and the vaccine will be given to those willing,” she said.
The government plans to start with vaccinating 16 million people by end of the year to suppress the virus with vaccines from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Johnson and Johnson.
Of the 16 million, more than 1 million health care workers and essential providers will be among the first people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 later in February when the vaccines are expected to arrive in the country.
In phase two of the vaccination, which is set to kick off in July and end in June 2022, 9.7 million Kenyans will be vaccinated.
The Ministry of Health said it had recommended AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for clearance by World Health Organization for importation to Kenya.