NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 14 – A total of 9, 144 people, mostly frontline health care workers, have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19 since the inoculation exercise began in the country on March 5.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Saturday said those who had been vaccinated were drawn from 40 counties.
Nairobi County registered the highest number of health workers having received the Oxford AstraZeneca jab at 2,020 followed by Uasin Gishu County that had 1, 304 medics vaccinated.
Kenya on Thursday received a second batch of 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine form India even as many European countries continued to halt their rollout after the vaccine was linked to blood clots.
With the ongoing debate on the vaccine’s efficacy, President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday urged Kenyans to embrace it.
The Head of State noted that “vaccine has been tested and our medical experts are persuaded that its safety profile is bankable”.
On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said there was no reason to stop using AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 jab after several countries suspended rollout over blood clot fears, while the hard-hit United States exceeded 100 million doses of vaccineS administered to its people.
The WHO, which said its vaccines advisory committee was examining the safety data coming in, Friday stressed that no causal link has been established between the AstraZeneca vaccine and clotting.
“Yes, we should continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said, stressing that any concerns over safety must be investigated.
The Britain-based AstraZeneca insisted its jab was safe, adding there is “no evidence” of higher blood clot risks.
The DR Congo is the latest country in the African continent to postpone its vaccination campaign using the AstraZeneca jab, following other countries taking similar precautionary measures.
Denmark, Norway and Iceland paused use of the drugmaker’s shot as a precaution after isolated reports of recipients developing blood clots.