Kenya on Friday received the first consignment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, comprising of 141,600 doses, as it ramps up the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination programme.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the third vaccine in Kenya’s programme with AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines already being administered in the country.
Speaking at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport while receiving the consignment, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi , who was representing Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, said the arrival of the vaccine doses will boost the ongoing vaccination drive that targets 10 million adult Kenyans by the end of the year.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is easily stored between 2 and 8 degrees centigrade during administration and can also be frozen at -20 degrees to ensure there is lengthening of shelf-life. This vaccine, therefore, requires less logistics and operational cost” said Mwangangi.
The health CAS said the single-shot vaccine is expected to be of great utility particularly when reaching the primary healthcare level of the country’s health system where the uptake of the vaccine continues to be low.
“The single-dose administration will ensure that this population will be fully vaccinated quickly. The ministry of health will therefore prioritize the distribution of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine towards the primary healthcare level.” Observed Mwangangi.
She said the country will continue to carry out targeted approaches as well as employ a hybrid approach when it comes to outreach programmes as it seeks to reach as many people as possible.
The arrival of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine means that the country has now received a total of 4,211,500 Covid-19 vaccine doses.
2,809,389 vaccinations had been administered in the country by the close of the day Friday with 2,020,009 being first doses while 809,380 people had been fully vaccinated representing 2.97% of the entire adult population.