The Health Ministry has denied that politicians are priority groups for coronavirus vaccines, contrary to some media reports on Wednesday.
In a statement on Wednesday, hours after Kenya received the first batch of 1.02 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, Health minister Mutahi Kagwe said phase one of the vaccination plan is targeting some 400,000 health workers as well as those in other essential services.
“The target population to be covered in this first phase remains 1.25 million and does not include politicians as erroneously reported in a section of the media today,” he said.
The rollout will begin on Friday when the ministry will officially launch the vaccination drive at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
CS Kagwe said the vaccines will be distributed to referral hospitals countrywide including level fours and threes.
“We are working with county governments to ensure seamless operation,” he said.
Kagwe also noted the COVID-19 vaccine will be rolled out on a priority basis in three phases.
Kenya’s rollout plan extends to June 2023, by which time it expects to have received about 49 million doses, covering 30 percent of the population.
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.
The third phase will run from as early as next year targeting a further five million Kenyans but subject to availability of vaccines