The Ministry of Health begins the second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine on 28th of May 2021. The administration of the second dose comes 12 weeks after the roll – out of the first dose as per WHO guidelines to boost effectiveness. The second jab will be administered with priority given to frontline health care workers, who received the first jab during the initial roll out in March 2021. Addressing the 16th Health Sector Intergovernmental Consultative Virtual Forum, Ag. Director of public health Dr. Francis Kuria, pointed out Kenya has confirmed the circulation of the UK, South African and Indian variant strains with Nairobi leading in the number of infections as well as reporting the highest number of vaccinations.
Marsabit County registered the lowest number of vaccinations at 785 cases as at the 16th of May 2021. The chair of the Covid 19 vaccine taskforce Dr. Willis Akwhale giving an update on the Covid 19 vaccine deployment strategy at the consultative forum said 136,370 vaccine doses are available at 12 confirmed vaccination sites. The distribution of the vaccine doses stands at 21,000 at the national level, 21,550 at the regional level and 93,820 at the sub-county level. He urged health care workers who received the first jab to get the second jab beginning 28th May for 90% protection against severe covid 19 complications. The Ministry of Health has also begun sending text message reminders to persons due to receive the second dosage to visit their current vaccine sites for the second jab emphasizing it is administered free of charge.
As at 26th May, 960,379 persons had been vaccinated against covid 19 with a majority being males at 56% and females at 44%. Majority of those vaccinated are aged 58 years and above. In addition, the government has set aside funds to acquire 30 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine from South Africa. Already, processing and delivery of 10 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is underway. The 10 million doses are expected in the country from August this year. However, Dr. Akwhale says talks are underway to have part of the consignment of the 10 million vaccines delivered beginning next month.
The health sector intergovernmental consultative forum brings together County Executive Committee members of health and key national government officials in the Ministry of Health and government agencies to promote intergovernmental relations in the health sector. The meeting mainly focused on progress in Covid 19 preparedness and response, vaccine deployment strategies and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) implementation and scale up.