The Kenyan government has revised its initial vaccination plan that targeted 10 million adults by June 2022. This follows hiccups encountered during the administration of the AstraZeneca.
In the new plan, the govt says it will vaccinate the entire Kenyan adult population of 26 million people by mid-2022.
President Uhuru Kenyatta made the announcement on Tuesday, June 29 during the 16th Presidential address on the Covid_19 pandemic at State House, Nairobi.
The new plan has been occasioned by the purchase of the first batch of 13 million doses of the single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccines which Kenya will receive in August.
According to Uhuru, 10 million adult Kenyans will be vaccinated by Christmas this year, with 150,000 doses being administered daily from August.
“Our strategy was to vaccinate 10 million adults by June 2022 and approximately 16 million by June 2023. Instead of vaccinating 10 million adults by June 2022, we will vaccinate the entire adult population of 26 million Kenyans by 2022. In fact, by Christmas this year, we intend to have vaccinated over 10 million adults,” Uhuru said.
The President also noted that if a vaccine for those under 18 years is approved by early 2022, Kenya will vaccinate a total of 30 million people.
“Because the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is administered using a single shot, the speed of rolling out our vaccination programme will be accelerated,” he said.
Uhuru mentioned that Kenya had struck a deal to get 13 million shots from J&J for the price of 10 million doses.
At the same time, the Head of State said the govt will set up a Human Vaccine Centre in Kenya to elevate the country as a producer for both human and veterinary vaccines.
“Our long-term strategy is to set up a Human Vaccine Centre. I have directed a multi-agency Team to activate this plan and to focus not only on the COVID-19 Vaccine, but on any other human vaccine needed in our region,” said Mr. Kenyatta.
“The national quest to produce human vaccines here in Kenya will elevate our nation as a producer for both human and veterinary vaccines that we currently supply to Eastern Africa, all the way to Morocco in North Africa.”
Kenyatta spoke after the World Bank approved $130 million of additional funds for Kenya to tackle the pandemic.