As the global rollout of COVAX vaccines continues, the first COVID-19 vaccination in Kenya is expected to be administered on Friday, February 5.
The East African country received its first batch of 1.02 million AstraZeneca doses from Serum Institute of India early Wednesday.
Upon arrival and clearance at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), the 1,500-kilos consignment will be shipped to the government’s main vaccine depot in Kitengela.
According to the vaccination programme, the govt will officially launch the vaccination drive on Friday at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
It is during the launch that the first Kenyan will officially receive the vaccine as a roll-out plan is unveiled.
“We have been training 400 health workers drawn from all the counties, who will be administering the jab. They will conclude their training on Thursday with a dry-run of what they will be doing after which we may have the first person being vaccinated by Friday,” a member of Covid-19 vaccine taskforce at the Health ministry told the Nation.
“We did not want them to train early and wait for too long. We want them to start off with the vaccine roll-out when they are still fresh from class.”
Coronavirus vaccine taskforce chair, Dr Willis Akhwale, said frontline health workers would be prioritised.
Those vaccinated will be expected to take a second dose after eight weeks. Dr Akhale noted: “Those in phase one will not be charged, but moving forward the cost of being vaccinated could be as low as Sh200.”
Others set to receive the jab first will be security personnel and teachers, vulnerable persons, and hospitality sector workers.
The first batch is part of the government’s 1.25 million target by end of June.
The second phase of the vaccination drive is expected to run from July 2021 to June next year, targeting about 10 million Kenyans mostly above 50 years, and those above 18 years but with underlying health conditions.
According to a plan by the Health ministry, the third phase will run from as early as next year targeting a further five million Kenyans, but subject to availability of vaccines