NAIROBI, Kenya, June 22 – Governors from the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) now want the national government to allow them to import COVID-19 vaccines directly days after the government imposed tough restrictions there after a surge in infections.
Speaking during a press conference on Tuesday, Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o stated that vaccination is key in stemming the high number of infections in the region and prevent further spread of the virus.
“This is something that we are going to propose to the Ministry of Health and if they are agreeable, we will go ahead,” he stated, “If We are allowed to import vaccines in partnership with our development partners, we are willing to do so.”
He pointed out that the 3 million jabs procured by the Health Ministry were not enough to accelerate vaccination across the country.
Kenya kicked off the inoculation exercise in March with 1.02 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that was acquired through the covax facility.
On Monday, it received 360,000 doses of COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine from Denmark, signaling a major boost in the inoculation exercise that started in February.
The vaccines which were given as a donation were received on Monday night by Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
1,187,663 Kenyans have so far been vaccinated, 995,570 having received the first dose while 192,093 received the second.
With the new batch of vaccines, Mochache asked Kenyans who have already received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to visit various health centres across the country from Wednesday to get their second jab.
“From Wednesday when I am sure the vaccine will have reached most facilities in Kenya we would wish that people should get out and go for their second dose. This vaccine donation that we have received has got a life of about one month and so up to to the end of July the vaccines will be in good condition and can therefore be administered,” she said.
Mochache said that the vaccines could not have come at a better time revealing that Kenya’s COVID-19 stock had only 5, 000 vaccines remaining.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has said that Kenya is sourcing more than 30 million vaccines from Pfizer and Johnson&Johnson to target at least 70 per cent of the adult population in the country.