Kenya on Friday, 17th September, received the first batch of 795,600 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine from the United States.
Speaking at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, while receiving the donation, Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache said the consignment would go a long way in accelerating the ongoing vaccination campaign as Kenya strives to immunise 60 per cent of its population.
“This is now the fourth type of Covid-19 vaccine to be deployed in Kenya. With this consignment, the country will now have received over 6.3 million doses of assorted vaccines,” said PS Mochache.
Mochache said the government would continue to commit funds for procurement of vaccines by engaging manufacturers and other stakeholders both at the national and regional level to ensure all those who are eligible access vaccines. This even as she called on health facilities to ensure they upload information of every person being vaccinated to the Chanjo platform.
“This is important in ensuring that we get accurate reports for planning. I want to caution here that those facilities that will not comply shall be delisted as vaccination centres,” she warned.
Acting American Ambassador to Kenya Eric Kneedler said the United States was committed to supporting Kenya recover from the pandemic.
Unicef Kenya Deputy Representative Jean Lokenga said the donation was a welcome boost to the ongoing vaccination drive. Another 1,236,690 doses of the Pfizer vaccine would arrive in the next fee weeks.
The World Health Organisation has so far approved six Covid-19 vaccines for emergency use, including all the four now available in Kenya – AstraZeneca, Johnson, and Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer.
A total of 3,290,450 doses had been administered in Kenya by Thursday, with 2,439,528 being the first doses. Some 850,922 people, or 3.1 percent of the adult population have so far been fully vaccinated.
Kenya is prioritising the vaccination of those aged above 58, healthcare workers, security officers, and teachers, who remain at the highest risk of contracting the virus.
The government targets to increase the daily vaccination rate to 150,000 by December. Vaccination posts will also be increased from 800 to 3,000 by December, with the number rising to 7,877 by June next year.
The first phase of vaccination began on 5th March 2021 with county vaccinations kicking off on 8th of March 2021.
The rollout of the national vaccination campaign is being led by the Ministry of Health, with support from WHO, Unicef, Gavi and other partners.