Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has announced that the COVID-19 vaccination will officially start on Friday, March 5, 2021.
According to the CS, the target group for the first batch of the vaccine will be the 400,000 health workers in the country.
He further reiterated that the first priority will be given to health workers hence dismissing reports that the political elites would be first to get the vaccine.
“The targeted population to be covered in this first phase remains 1.25miIlion and does not include politicians as was erroneously reported in a section of the media today,” CS Kagwe insisted.
On Tuesday night, Kenya received the first batch of 1.02 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccines.
The vaccines were received by government dignitaries led by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), transported by Qatar Airways flight QR1341. Others who accompanied Kagwe include Maniza Zaman (UNICEF Representative to Kenya) and Dr Rudi Eggers (WHO Representative to Kenya).
The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine was manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and made available to the COVAX facility following a purchase agreement between Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and SII.
The first consignment of 1.02 million doses is part of an initial allocation to Kenya of 3.56 million doses.
In addition, UNICEF is providing 1,025,000 syringes and 10,250 safety boxes to Kenya, via a global stockpile funded and supported by Gavi.
“This has been made possible by the leadership of His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and the hard work of the Ministry of Health. I would like to thank UNICEF, WHO, and GAVI for their support in procuring and transporting these life-saving vaccines and the Kenyan people for their cooperation over the past 11.5 months,” said Kagwe.
Vaccines will be moved from the central vaccine stores to nine regional vaccine stores, from where the counties will collect and distribute the vaccines to local hospitals at the county and sub-county levels.