KENYA – Kenya has received 880,460 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the first time that Moderna vaccines have been received in Kenya and widens the portfolio of COVID-19 vaccines available for the national vaccination rollout.
The vaccines, which form the first of two shipments totaling 1.76 million doses, were donated by the United States Government via the COVAX facility and transported by UNICEF.
“This donation builds on the United States partnership with the Government of Kenya in response to COVID-19. These life-saving vaccines will fill an important need at a critical time in Kenya’s fight against this pandemic,” said US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, Eric Kneedler.
The roll out of the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign is being led by the Ministry of Health (MoH), with support from WHO, UNICEF, Gavi and other partners.
“This generous donation of Moderna vaccines from the US Government is a welcome boost to Kenya’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccination campaign,” UNICEF Representative to Kenya Maniza Zaman said.
The World Health Organisation has so far approved six COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use, including Astra Zeneca and Moderna.
The organization has emphasized the safety of approved vaccines and urged Kenyans to maintain public health measures while the national vaccination campaign is rolled out.
“Getting vaccinated is a choice and responsibility and I can assure Kenyans that all vaccines approved by WHO are safe and effective,” WHO’s Dr Mona Almudhwahi said.
“The best vaccine is the first one that is offered to you – we urge all eligible Kenyans to get vaccinated. It is also essential that we continue with public health measures such as mask wearing, regular hand washing, social distancing and avoiding congested spaces and gathering.”
The vaccines arrived through the global COVAX initiative, which is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
“COVAX has built a diverse portfolio of vaccines suitable for a range of settings and populations and is on track to meet its goal of delivering at least 2 billion doses of vaccine to participating countries around the world in 2021, including in Kenya,” said Rachel Belt, Senior Country Manager for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, speaking from Geneva.
Vaccinations and Covid-19 in Africa
Generally speaking, the continent has achieved great lengths in the past few weeks as far as vaccination is concerned. 52 African countries are rolling out COVID-19 vaccines and over 73 million doses have been administered on the continent.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa reached 7,466,187 as of Saturday afternoon, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said.
The Africa CDC, the specialized healthcare agency of the African Union, said the death toll from the pandemic stood at 187,969. Some 6,578,403 patients across the continent have recovered from the disease so far.
South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Ethiopia are among the countries with the most cases in the continent, according to the agency.
South Africa has recorded the most COVID-19 cases in Africa with 2,666,964 cases, while the northern African country Morocco reported 799,775 cases.
In terms of the caseload, southern Africa is the most affected region, followed by the northern and eastern parts of the continent, while central Africa is the least affected region in the continent.