The government has received 1.36 million doses of Pfizer vaccines from the United States government.
The vaccines were received by Ministry of Health officials led by the chair of the national task force on vaccines against Covid-19 Dr. Willis Akhwale. Also present at the airport were United States Embassy officials led by Ms. Heidi O’bra, Deputy Director, USAID/Kenya, Office of Health, Population, and Nutrition.
While thanking the US government for the donation Dr. Akhwale said the vaccines will be distributed to the nine regional stores countrywide.
“The donation will ensure everyone has an equal access to the vaccines and they are safe,” said Dr. Akhwale.
Dr. Akhwale pointed out that there are ongoing discussions with development partners to get more Moderna vaccines in the country so that there are enough doses of the five compliments being used in the country.
He further noted that the government hopes to fully vaccinate 19 million people by end of June this year.
“During the same period we have targeted to vaccinate 2.9 million teenagers between 15 and 17 years. We are also targeting 4.2 million Kenyans who are fully vaccinated to receive their booster shots by December 2022,” Dr. Akhwale.
He noted that the Ministry of Health guidelines advise that booster shots are to be taken six months after having been fully vaccinated.
Dr. Akhwale said records indicate that 370,000 people are eligible for booster shots this month. These he said are mainly frontline workers who include health workers, security forces, teachers and those in the hospitality industry who received their second doses in June last year.
He said booster shots are important because the pandemic is not yet over and science has shown that the immunity wanes six months after the second dose.
He warned that one is likely to be hospitalized if attacked by the virus and urged those eligible for booster shots to take advantage of the many vaccines to get their jab. He announced beginning this Friday the government will launch another vaccination campaign targeting 3 million people.
Dr. Akhwale said there are enough vaccines for everyone and those who get severe attacks as a result of being unvaccinated will only have themselves to blame.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a