Kenya has this morning received another 880,320 Covid-19 Moderna Vaccines from the United States government.
The vaccines received on behalf of the government by Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr. Rashid Aman comes a fortnight after the country received the first batch of 880,460 doses of Moderna Vaccines.
This second batch will now complete the donations amounting to 1,760,780 from the US and so far, Kenya has received a total of 5,146,780 doses of Vaccines.
In a speech read on his behalf by CAS at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the donation will be of great help during this time that the government is carrying out a robust vaccination campaign against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are equally grateful for the donations that we have so far received from other development partners and well-wishers,” he said.
Kagwe noted that the constraints the country has been experiencing in the past few months arising from the global supply of the vaccines is slowly fading away with the arrival of such donations.
“I am glad to report that the Ministry of Health is now making steady progress in the Covid-19 vaccination campaign and wish to thank the United States for the support,” he added.
Moderna is the second vaccine to be deployed in the country after the government first started administering AstraZeneca in March this year.
Last week, the country received 141,600 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines which were procured directly by the Kenya government from South Africa under the Africa Union platform.
The CS confirmed that as of today 2,050,377 Kenyans have received their 1st dose and 812,151 Kenyans are now fully vaccinated.
The uptake of vaccines in the country, he noted, is very encouraging as the majority of Kenyans have responded well to the government’s call to come out and get vaccinated.
“At the rate we are moving, we expect to attain the 10 million target that was set by His Excellency the President by December this year,” Kagwe said.
He explained that the priority groups which include those aged above 58 years, health care workers, security officers and teachers still remain so, since they are the people with the highest risk of contracting the virus by the very nature of their health status and the work they do respectively.
He called upon citizens, particularly those who have not been vaccinated to turn up and get vaccinated now that the country is having more vaccines.
“We also appeal to those who took their first dose and are due for the second dose but have not turned up for it to please do so,” he said noting that although the first dose provides one with some protection, full protection only comes about when one is fully vaccinated.
For the Country to fully re-open its economy, the CS said there is need to either have herd immunity or have the entire adult population fully vaccinated saying the government is doing its part to acquire vaccines and therefore Kenyans should play their part in getting fully vaccinated as soon as possible.
He again reiterated that all the vaccines deployed in Kenya have been approved by the World Health Organization and that no vaccine is superior to the other when it comes to prevention of severe disease and prevention of death.
“We urge all Kenyans when going out for vaccination that we shall not be emphasizing on the brand names but rather ensuring that every eligible Kenyan gets vaccinated against Covid-19,” he said.
The CS has also appealed to County Governments to support the National Government efforts by mobilizing communities to get vaccinated.
“If we get everyone vaccinated then our country will be safe and we shall be able to resume our normal business. Remember no one is safe until all of us are safe and have been vaccinated against this deadly virus,” Kagwe said.
By Wangari Ndirangu