Kenya has reportedly ordered 24 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, with the Ministry of Health submitting its request to the Global Vaccine Alliance Initiative (Gavi) last week.

Citing Ministry of Health officials, the Star newspaper reported that the government will spend Sh10 billion ($89m; £66m) for the vaccines.

Mid this year Gavi said each dose will cost about $3 (about Sh320).

The amount is heavily discounted by Gavi thanks to donations from the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a number of developed countries, among others.

The 24 million doses will be enough to cover 20 percent of the country’s population.

Acting director-general of Health Patrick Amoth said Kenya did not dictate which vaccine to receive because Gavi has signed agreements with manufacturers of about nine vaccine candidates.

“The Oxford University-Astrazeneca candidate will be ideal for Kenya because it fits within our cold chain supply system. It can be stored in 2-8 degrees and we have refrigerators for that,” Amoth said. “It is also being tested in the country in Kilifi.”

Dr Amoth said Kenya will grant emergency use approval to the appropriate candidate immediately that vaccine gets such approvals in Europe and the US.

“Once they get the approval from the European Medicines Agency and in the UK, then we will also consider granting such authorisation in Kenya,” he said.

COVID-19 vaccines are expected in the country early next year.