The government is pursuing the acquisition of two million doses of vaccines from Pfizer as well as Johnson & Johnson to supplement the Astrazeneca vaccines, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has said.
The vaccines must, however, pass World Health Organization approval as well as the country’s stringent rules in order to be distributed in the country, according to the CS.
Pfizer, which needs minus 70 degrees in storage, would not pose a problem if acquired by the government, according to CS Kagwe, since the government would also acquire the required special storage facilities.
The CS made the remarks while answering media questions shortly after receiving a donation of Personal Protective Equipment worth Ksh 2.3 million from Multi Choice Kenya at his Afya House office yesterday.
According to Kagwe, Kenya obtains vaccines from only three sources.
They include government-to-government donations, such as the recent donation of 100,000 doses from the government of India.
The second platform is the Covax facility, from which the government obtained 1.1 million doses, and the third is the African Union.
He stated that under the African Union facility, which Kenya has yet to use, they have negotiated rates with manufacturers so that the country can obtain the vaccines at a reduced cost.
According to the CS, the government prohibited the private sector from participating in vaccines due to the confusion it would cause, as well as the risk of some people taking advantage of the situation and selling the doses to Kenyans while they are free.
He noted that the supply chain had made acquiring more vaccines for the country more difficult, but that the government was working tirelessly to ensure that stocks did not run out.
Kagwe noted that Africa had expected to receive 75 million doses through the Covax facility, but only 12 million had been delivered so far.
The CS stated that India, the manufacturer of the Astrazeneca vaccines, was experiencing difficulties, with over 200,000 cases of COVID-19 being recorded daily.
He stated that it was for this reason that India had slowed the supply of Astrazeneca in order to address the issue in their country.
COVID-19 Positivity rate
The COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped in the last two weeks, according to CS Kagwe, who urges Kenyans to continue following the MoH’s recommendations to keep the virus at bay.
At the same time, the CS noted that the counties of Muranga, Uasin Gishu, Siaya, and Nyeri have seen an increase in cases.
The Ministry of Health has since enlisted the help of county officials to develop county-specific mitigation policies.
400 days after the first case in Kenya was registered, the total number of cases has risen to 152,523 from the 1,611,679 samples tested so far.
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