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Kenya to receive 4.1 million COVID Vaccine

A schedule shared by UNICEF, Gavi and the World Health Organization has revealed that the government will pay Shs 1.37 billion for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses.

            Kenya will receive 4,176,000 doses vaccine for Covid-19, and will be delivered at the end of this month.

            In the schedule, UNICEF confirmed that each of the dose will be sold at Shs 330 with the price having already been subsidised.

            UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore in a statement sent to newsrooms today stated that the shared schedule as well as the pricing information is also a reflection of the Agency’s commitment to transparency, “which we have been demonstrating for the past ten years by publishing all negotiated prices for a range of commodities.”

            “The vaccines are mainly manufactured by India’s Serum Institute. They will be bought for about 92 countries through the Covax facility, but UNICEF will use its expertise to transport them,” read the statement in part.

            UNICEF said in the schedule statement that it has stockpiled 500 million syringes for the injections of the vaccine.

            According to the vaccine distribution schedule for the 92 countries, Uganda will get 3,552,000 doses, Rwanda 1,098,960, Somalia 1,224,000, South Sudan 864,000, Ethiopia 8,928,000. Tanzania and Burundi will not receive doses because they did not apply for any.

            Nearly all African countries will only receive the AstraZeneca vaccine except South Africa which will get 2,976,000 of AstraZeneca vaccine and 117,000 of the Pfizer jabs; and Rwanda 996,000 (AstraZeneca) and 102,960 (Pfizer).

            It also noted the AstraZeneca vaccine is yet to receive the WHO emergency use authorization, a precondition before shipping under Covid-19. The authorisation is expected by February 15 after which the shipping will begin.

            Gavi in the statement stated that the exact delivery after allocation will depend on the sequence of countries in the shipment plan, the time taken to place the purchase order, legal / regulatory obligations, as well as the supplier’s lead time and related logistics.

            The AstraZeneca vaccine requires two doses per person given three or four weeks apart. Kenya might consider giving just one dose to allow the prioritize the vaccine to the more vulnerable people and health workers.

            Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe in an earlier statement had said that the government plans to vaccinate at least 1.25 million Kenyans between February and June, key among them frontline healthcare workers, all staff working in health facilities and workers offering essential services.

            The second phase according to Kagwe is expected to run from July 2021 to June 2022 during which 9.7 million more Kenyans will receive the jab depending on availability of the vaccines.

            Researchers have been lauded for the developed Covid-19 vaccine which has left millions of dead globally with Kenya having lost 1,769 people and 101,159 confirmed infections.

by Alice Gworo

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