NAIROBI, Kenya May 30 – Kenya on Saturday received 72,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine which arrived from Juba, South Sudan.
Officials said the vaccines were given to Kenya because South Sudan had not established mechanisms to preserve the doses and feared they will expire before use.
Kenya had received 1.02 AstraZenecca doses through the covax facility and so far, 968, 733 have been administered, many of them for the first dose.
Kenya’s Covid cases had risen to 170, 485 on Sunday, with 3,141 deaths and 116, 133 recoveries.
The vaccines that arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) were received by the Ministry of Health officials and were ferried to the National vaccine depot in Kitengela.
The Covax facility has been rooting for the need of countries to share their vaccines especially those that are yet to utilise them as their expiry dates near.
Kenya on Friday kicked off its second round of vaccination exercise with the Chairperson of the Vaccine Taskforce Dr. Willis Akhwale assuring that those who are due for the vaccination have already received notification messages.
“In keeping with the recommendations of the World Health Organization, second dose is administered after 12 weeks so people who are due have received a message as a reminder which is being sent 48 hours to when one is expected to go for their second jab from tomorrow,” Dr. Akhwale said.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has reiterated the government’s commitment to ensure that 60 percent of the population is vaccinated by June 2022.
He however warned that the risk of Kenya experiencing the COVID-19 4 wave was imminent as he revealed that variants from the United Kingdom, India and South Africa are fast spreading in the country.
Kagwe said the variants had been detected in 39 samples from Kenyans who had no travel history.
He noted that 28 samples had the Indian variant while six had the UK variant. One sample had the South African variant. Four had variants from the two countries.
“It is important to note that the ongoing genomic surveillance has revealed early and established community transmission of both UK and Indian variants of concern in Kisumu, Mombasa and Kisumu Counties,” he said.