The government is in the process of procuring 10 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine through the African Union Mechanism scheduled for delivery in coming August, Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache has said.
The PS further said that as much as the government recognizes the gains made in the number of those seeking vaccination against Covid-19, it regrets that a number of Kenyans were turned away from vaccination centers last week due to a shortage in the doses available.
“It is key to note that there has been a global stock out of vaccines occasioned by the global supply constraints and I urge Kenyans to exercise patience since arrangements have been made to ensure that all those who got their first dose, will get their second dose at the expected time frame”, the PS said.
The PS who spoke after receiving 360,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine from Danish government said so far, the country has received 1.2 million doses and close to 1.1million doses have been administered. “This shows that the country has used over 99 per cent of the doses received and the remaining 1 per cent will be used by the end of this week,” she said.
The PS added that the vaccines could not have come at a better time when the government has embarked on administering the second dose for those who have already received the first dose.
“On behalf of the Kenyan Government I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the Danish government for the great gesture,” the PS said.
She also urged all those who have already been given the first dose to present themselves at a vaccination centre once they receive a message from the chanjo system.
As of today, she noted that out of the 990,000 due for a second dose, 192,000 have already received their dose and thus the donation being received is most welcome especially at this critical time when government is administering the second dose.
“I continue to urge all those in the targeted priority groups who received their first dose to ensure they take their second dose as this will give them full protection against Covid-19”, she said.
The first dose only gives one partial protection while second dose give you full protection against the corona virus disease.
She appealed to Kenyans to strictly adhere to the containment measures that are in place such as washing hands with soap and water, wearing of face masks at all times while in public places, maintaining social and physical distance and avoiding all forms of gathering be they social or political.
Danish envoy to Kenya Ole Thonke said the country is in a difficult situation as they received fewer vaccines than expected but hoped the donation by Denmark will help fill the gap until more arrive.
“International solidarity is important during this global pandemic and I want to thank the government of Kenya through the Foreign Affairs CS for an excellent collaboration of making this happen,” Thonke said.
By Wangari Ndirangu