The Health Ministry has assured Covid vaccine recipients who are due for their second one that they are still well protected against the coronavirus.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe told Kenyans who took the first jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine not to worry about developing negative side effects.
“Your immunity against the disease is more than 60 percent meaning that if you get the virus you are likely to suffer fewer symptoms. No one will die because they did not get the second dose,” said the CS as quoted by the Star.
This comes in the wake of a shortage following the nationalisation of the AstraZeneca vaccines by the Indian government.
The Serum Institute of India has said it can no longer give commitments for supply and has started refunding funds it had received from countries to ship the AstraZeneca doses.
CS Mutahi said the situation has forced the Ministry to seek other vaccine alternatives.
“There are no miracles regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine. We have to live with the current situation as we find alternatives. In any case, we have until July to worry about the second dose,” he added.
One of the alternatives is the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, with the government placing an order of 30 million doses. They are expected in Kenya within the year.
During a meeting of Africa’s health ministers last Saturday, CS Kagwe proposed that all the money raised via the Covax initiative be used to pay for 200 million doses of Pfizer and another 210 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
“With this arrangement, Kenya will not pay anything and will be able to easily get and vaccinate 30 million people with Johnson and Johnson which is being manufactured in Africa and will be a single dose,” said the minister.