Kenya receives additional doses of AstraZeneca to bolster immunization activities

KENYA – Kenya has received 410,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from the British government in yet another boost to ongoing efforts to vaccinate its adult population.

The consignment is the first batch of the 817,000 doses for Kenya by Britain, with a further donation of 407,000 doses from the UK expected in the country via the COVAX facility.

Speaking at JKIA after receiving the consignment, on behalf of Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said the donation will go a long way towards bolstering Kenya’s journey towards realizing herd immunity.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had yesterday announced that more vaccine doses will be arriving in the country beginning next week in a boost to the ongoing vaccination campaign. Kenya is also expecting to receive 1,760,000 doses of Pfizer from the US government.

A further 235,000 doses of AstraZeneca are expected in the country from Greece with an extra 55,000 doses of AstraZeneca set to arrive in the country from Lativia as part of bilateral donations.

The COVAX facility has also allocated Kenya 407,040 doses of AstraZeneca and 271,440 doses of Pfizer. This besides the 13 million doses of Johnson and Johnson, procured by the government through the AVAT-AU mechanism, whose delivery will start next month.

As of Sunday, the number of people that had been fully vaccinated in Kenya stood at 662,089. The country’s health ministry said a total of 1,726,193 vaccines have been administered so far, with first doses accounting for 1,064,104.

So far, Kenya has recorded 203,680 COVID-19 infections with 3,946 deaths. Both the caseload and the death toll are the seventh-highest tallies recorded in Africa.

The increased vaccine deliveries are bound to protects Africans against a looming fourth wave of infections as well as put the continent at per with the rest of the world in terms of combating Covid-19.

Covid-19 vaccines in Africa

Data released by the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that Africa has received an upward of 82 million Covid-19 vaccine doses. Out of these, at least 62 million doses have been administered.

In addition to these, the international health body said 520 million doses are expected to be delivered to the continent through COVAX by the end of 2021.

Africa has so far reported over 6.7 million coronavirus cases with 170,082 deaths according to data by Africa CDC.

Even as immunization efforts appear to be revamped in the continent, World Health Organization says COVID-19 deaths have increased by 80 per cent in the past one month in Africa, mostly driven by the highly infectious Delta variant.

“Infections have increased in every region of the world, with some even reaching 80 per cent more in the past month. In Africa, deaths have increased by 80 per cent over the same period,’’ WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, warned.

Ghebreyesus also announced that in response to the Delta surge, the WHO’s Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator was inaugurating the Rapid ACT-Accelerator Delta Response, or RADAR, and issuing an urgent call for 7.7 billion U.S. dollars for tests, treatments and vaccines.

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