The government has announced an ambitious plan to vaccinate 26 million people by end of 2022 in renewed efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19.
In a revised Covid-19 vaccines deployment plan, Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the country targets to vaccinate at least 30 million Kenyans in order to reduce community transmission, severe illness, and deaths and to enable full re-opening of the economy.
“To achieve adequate coverage and following World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations Kenya needs to vaccinate the entire adult population. This is at least 30 million Kenyans or 60% of the population.” He stated
The target, to be executed within the next twelve months will see the government procure more doses of Covid-19 vaccines, increase vaccination centers as well as scaling up communication and outreach services to ramp up the vaccine uptake.
“In this accelerated phase, as the global supply chain improves, the country will get 20 million doses of different types of WHO approved quality-assured vaccines including 13 million doses of single-shot Johnson and Johnson procured through the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) of the African Union mechanism. In tandem, vaccination posts will be increased from the current 800 to 3,000.” The CS indicated
So far the vaccines available in the country include AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna. Pfizer and Sinopharm vaccine doses are expected in the country before the end of September.
Health facilities will be allowed to keep one type of vaccine, however, facilities that will have two types of vaccines will require to have different immunization areas and sessions to avoid confusion.
The government has also put in place infrastructure to ensure adequate storage of all the vaccines available in the country.
“The National Vaccine Store has a total of eight (8) cold rooms with a refrigerated capacity of 130M³ and 2 freezer rooms with a capacity of 14 M³. Specialized Ultra Cold Chain (UCC) freezers with a storage capacity of 3 million doses are being procured to store the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines until they are ready to be distributed to vaccination posts.” Report from the Health Ministry indicates
So far 1,000 health workers have been trained on administration of multiple vaccines, however, the government intends to train vaccinators from 3,000 facilities by December 2021.
To speed up vaccination, the government will collaborate with local community leaders to mobilize communities to take the jab while health facilities will help in identifying persons with underlying medical conditions and vaccinate them within the facilities during their routine clinic attendance
With Kenya having started vaccination in March 2021, 1.9million people have so far received the first dose and 800,000 have received their second dose implicating that 3.02% of Kenya’s adult population has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.