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

Pfizer vaccine

First consignment of 2mn Pfizer vaccine doses to arrive Friday

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 16 – Kenya is Friday set to receive the first consignment of the Pfizer vaccine, a donation from the United States government.

The 2 million Pfizer doses will help boost the ongoing nationwide vaccination exercise, even as the government targets to fully vaccinate at least 10 million adults by the end of the year.

Dr Willis Akhwale, Chairperson of the national vaccine deployment taskforce,  said the country is ready to deploy the Pfizer vaccine after receiving the necessary storage facilities.

Dr Akhwale said China’s Sinopharm vaccine will also be arriving in the country on Saturday.

He said the arrival of the two types will bring to five the total number of vaccines being deployed in the country by next week.

“We are getting a lot of vaccine doses now, and things are going up to our projection. Sharing of doses by the European Union has been major source of our vaccine and as I told you tomorrow we will be receiving 2 million doses of Pfizer,” Akhwale told reporters on Thursday.

He emphasized that all the vaccines are the same when it comes to efficacy and urged Kenyans to get jabs available at the accredited facilities, and avoid making preferences.

“All the vaccines are equal when it comes to primary and point prevention of severe disease, there has even been no study comparing them in the same setting at the same time,” he said.

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On the vaccine uptake by priority groups, Akhwale reported that over two thirds of health workers had been fully vaccinated.

He said teachers had surpassed uptake of first dose of the vaccine.

Akhwale however noted those aged 58 years and above had not responded well to the vaccine uptake, despite accounting for most fatalities from the disease.

He said they had adjusted the vaccination priority age group to start from 50 years.

Akhwale reported that a total of 5,538,220 vaccines had been administered, including 3,242,751 first doses and 2,397,641 second doses.

The proportion of fully vaccinated adults stood at 3.1 per cent.

As part of measures to achieve the vaccination target, Akhwale said they intent to double the vaccination rates from 40,000 a day to 80,000 daily.

Kenya ranks 8th in the continent in terms of vaccine deployment.

Morroco leads having administered 31.2 million doses with South Africa coming second.

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