The Government has received a consignment of 252,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
The vaccines which landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport have been directly procured by the Kenya Government.
On hand to receive the drugs were officials from the Ministry of Health led by the Chairman of the National Task Force on Covid-19 Deployment and Vaccination, Dr. Willis Akhwale, who represented Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe.
Addressing journalists at the airside, Akhwale said this was the second consignment of Johnson and Johnson vaccines that had been directly procured by the Government.
He noted that the Government had made a provision of Sh14.3 billion to procure 13 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines in the current Financial Year and that this was part of that provision.
With the arrival of the vaccines this now amounted to 393,600 of the expected 13 million vaccines.
Akhwale said the Government had projected to be receiving one million doses of Johnson and Johnson between August and December and about two million from January. However, he said that whereas there are challenges in the global supply chain, the Government was hopeful that we shall receive more doses of Johnson and Johnson in the coming weeks.
“We are happy with the increased doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines as they will be used in our primary health care facilities, as well as our mobile outreach units,” he added.
The Chairman noted that the vaccines will increase the number of those fully vaccinated faster because they were a single shot dose.
Akhwale said that Health CS, had made it clear that for the Country to fully open up the economy, Kenyans must be vaccinated.
He said to date, close to 4 million people had been vaccinated and that the Ministry hopes to vaccinate another 1.8 million people by October 20th.
The Chairman urged Kenyans to turn out to get the jab since there were enough vaccines in the Country now.
Dr. Akhwale, however, pointed out that whereas there were counties that had done very well in the vaccination campaign, there were some, particularly in Western and Nyanza region where vaccination was low.
He said counties including Kakamega with an eligible population of one million, had only fully vaccinated slightly over 20,000 people. The same case with counties such as Homa Bay, which had so far vaccinated about 10,000 people from an eligible population of 600,000.
Akhwale said the CS had expressed those frustrations, when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Health.
He pointed out that the Senate had promised to mobilise political leaders in those counties to assist in the vaccination campaign.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a