Kenya’s Health Ministry says all preparations are in place to receive and distribute COVID-19 vaccines beginning mid-February.

Dr. Willis Akhwale, the chairman of the COVID-19 taskforce for vaccine deployment and the vaccination process, said there are 10 vaccine storage sites spread out across the country.

In addition to the main storage in Kitengela, other regional sites are in Kakamega, Nyeri, Garissa, Meru, Mombasa, Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu, and Eldoret.

“Immediately the vaccines arrive, we’re ready and steady to start the vaccination,” said Dr. Akhwale.

The official further noted that the ministry will address the growing vaccine mistrust and misinformation which could undermine the vaccination process.

“A lot of the killer diseases – measles, whooping cough/pertussis – without vaccination there would have been many deaths, so vaccines have had a very big impact in protecting lives,” said Dr. Akhwale.

“We know there are a lot of untruths that are peddled out there, and people may be hesitant based on untruths. The taskforce will listen to everybody, where there are untruths and myths we will address them,” he added.

MoH also reiterated that the vaccine will be optional and no one will be forced to take it.

The first doses of the vaccines are targeting at least 1.25 million Kenyans to be vaccinated between February and June in the first of three phases.