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National COVID-19 Taskforce for Vaccine Deployment Chairperson Willis Akhwale/COURTESY

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Kenya begins mapping exercise ahead of Pfizer, J&J vaccine deployment

The National COVID-19 Taskforce for Vaccine Deployment Chairperson Willis Akhwale told the Senate Health Committee on Friday the taskforce working on developing a distribution schedule with the counties on a roll out.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 30 – The Ministry of Health intends to undertake a multiple deployment of the Johnson and Johnson, and Pfizer vaccines expected to be rolled out between June and August.

The National COVID-19 Taskforce for Vaccine Deployment Chairperson Willis Akhwale told the Senate Health Committee on Friday the taskforce working on developing a distribution schedule with the counties on a roll out.

“We are also in plans to do a multiple deployment once we get our vaccines. Johnson & Johnson is expected in August, Pfizer maybe June. We will have a big campaign to ensure we deploy these three vaccines simultaneously,” he said.

Kenya initiated the process of acquiring 17 million doses of Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson vaccine, to supplement the national vaccination program.

The plan followed the suspension of AstraZeneca vaccine exports by India in March, affecting 190 countries under the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility.

“We have started engaging the counties, so that we start mapping out facilities that will administer which particular vaccine and once that is done, we will then have the campaign so that as the vaccines come in they can be utilised as soon as possible,” Dr Akhwale explained.

He said the government is still optimistic that the second batch of the COVAX consignment will arrive in time.

“There is absolutely no harm in moving the vaccination of the second dose from 8-12 weeks because it is very much within what has been recommended and for us therefore we are planning to do that with the assurance that COVAX now  has some doses to distribute to countries through May,” Dr Akhwale stated. 

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