Kenya on Monday received 880,460 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in yet another boost to the ongoing vaccination drive that targets to vaccinate 10 million people by the end of the year.
According to the Ministry of Health,the Moderna Vaccine doses, donated by the US government, is the second vaccine in Kenya’s programme after AstraZeneca with at least 1,615,687 people having received at least one dose and 780,377 fully vaccinated by 22nd of August 2021.
Speaking at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport while receiving the donation, Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache, who was representing Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during the event, said the development marked an important milestone in Kenya’s covid-19 vaccination programme.
“The shipment is the first of the 3.5 million doses of vaccines to Kenya by the US government which includes today’s donation, a similar number of Moderna doses and a further 1.6 million doses of Pfizer vaccines scheduled to be delivered mid next month” Said Mochache.
Mochache at the same time thanked other governments and partners who have supported Kenya’s Covid-19 vaccination programme. “On behalf of the ministry of health and all Kenyans, I sincerely thank the government of the United States for the kind donation. Further I extend my thanks to the governments of the United Kingdom, Denmark, Greece and France who have so far donated a cumulative total of 1,130,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines” observed Mochache.
She said the government has revised its vaccine deployment plan taking into consideration the availability of multiple vaccines with an aim of vaccinating 150,000 people each day before the end of September adding that the focus is on protecting those at the greatest risk of infection. Mochache said the government has put in place elaborate mechanisms to ensure it has the capacity to deploy all the vaccines across the country including Pfizer that requires storage of -70 degrees.
While noting that the first phase of the vaccination that ended in June was hampered by global vaccines supply, Mochache said the country has made tremendous gains reducing case fatality rates to 2 percent from 2.1 percent with plans underway to increase vaccination posts from the current 800 to 3000.
Speaking during the event, US Embassy Charge d’Affaires Eric William Kneedler said the 880,460 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is the first shipment of 1.76 million doses donated by the United States via COVAX facility. He said the US government remains committed in supporting Kenya’s realize her objective of vaccinating her entire adult population with the donation a demonstration of the strong partnership between Kenya and the United States.
UNICEF Kenya Country Representative Ms. Maniza Zaman said international solidarity remains critical during the Covid-19 pandemic even as she called on Kenyans to get vaccinated to protect themselves from the disease.
The government plans to vaccinate 10 million people by close of the year with 26 million people expected to have been vaccinated by the end of next year. Already 2.9 percent of the entire adult population has been vaccinated.
The first vaccination began on 5th March 2021 with county vaccinations kicking off on 8th of March 2021. The second dose vaccination began on 28th May 2021. The government is conducting the vaccination free of charge.
The rollout of the national vaccination campaign is being led by the Ministry of Health, with support from WHO, UNICEF, Gavi and other partners.