The Republic of Kenya on Wednesday received 407,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the UK at a time when Kenya is battling a surge in COVID-19 infections.
This came after the UK government donated another 410,000 doses to Kenya on July 31 following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent UK tour.
Acting Director-General of Health Dr. Patrick Amoth received the vaccines on Wednesday morning at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the capital Nairobi.
Director Amoth praised the UK government and all stakeholders for supporting Kenya’s fight against the disease, saying: “I thank the UK government, WHO, UNICEF & partners who are helping in the vaccine deployment plan. The Ministry of Health has now received a total of 817,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine as a contribution of the British government in Kenya’s fight against COVID-19.”
UK Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya Julius Court said the vaccines will be put in use immediately as the country battles a surge in infections.
The vaccines are expected to boost the ongoing vaccination campaign that has seen 2,101,403 people receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Court noted that “the donation was a testament to the cordial relations between Kenya and the United Kingdom. I’m delighted that the second shipment of our total donation of 817,000 COVID-19 vaccines has arrived in Kenya,”
According to the country’s Health Ministry, Kenya is expecting to receive 1.7 million doses of the Moderna vaccine soon, 393,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the next few weeks, and 1.8 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine this September.
At the Handover ceremony, UNICEF Kenya’s Chief of Health Dr. Yaron Wolman emphasized the need for everyone in the country to be vaccinated, “no one is safe until everyone is safe, especially with new and more infectious variants of the virus emerging. Vaccine equity is essential to ensure that everyone at risk from COVID-19 gets vaccinated wherever they are,”
Kenya, with a population of 52 million people, has previously asked for assistance to get at least 10 million of its adult population vaccinated by December last year. The latest consignment has raised the number of vaccines received in the country to 2,730,100 with at least 754,542 people having received their second doses by the end of Tuesday. The proportion of adults fully vaccinated now stands at 2.8%.
Kenya recorded 1,488 coronavirus infections on Tuesday, raising the confirmed caseload to 222,894, while the cumulative fatalities stand at 4,354.
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