The Ministry of Health in Kenya says it is expecting to receive some 4.5 million COVID-19 vaccines by mid September to boost vaccination efforts in the country.
Dr Willis Akhwale spoke at a media round table on Wednesday, revealing that by August 21, Kenya had received approximately 3.6 million doses of both the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines and Moderna.
The chairperson of the task force on vaccine deployment added that the country anticipates 1.7 million doses of Pfizer vaccine by mid-September, 2 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine in September, and 893,600 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine between now and next month.
He noted that China’s Sinopharm vaccine has not been licensed for administration to persons above 60 years.
The Ministry of Health insisted that the government will be the sole importer of vaccines.
“The only importer and distributor is the government, the gov’t will facilitate the vaccine procurement even for the private sector,” Dr Willis Akhwale said.
The Health ministry urged Kenyans to get the vaccines, saying the bulk of recent deaths had been among elderly individuals aged 60 and over, followed by those aged 50 to 59.
Dr Akwale also implored Kenyans to get the readily available jabs as waiting for their vaccine of choice may be an exercise in futility.
“If you wait for your vaccine choice, you may wait until you die…I know that is what is happening,” Dr Akhwale added.
Dr. Joseph Sitienei, Head of the Department of Health Sector Monitoring also urged those who have not received their second doses to do so.
So far, about 3 percent of Kenya’s population has been fully vaccinated against the COVID.19.
“Some people may get the 1st jab and disappear. We are going to track those who have not gone for 2nd dose…one jab is not enough,” Dr. Sitienei said.