Healthcare workers, security personnel, teachers, hotel workers, and the elderly are on the priority list of Kenya’s first batch of coronavirus vaccines.
According to a statement by Statehouse, Kenya targets to vaccinate 1.25 million in phase one of the campaign by June.
“The first batch of the country’s Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Kenya on Tuesday. In that regard Cabinet ratified the distribution framework for the vaccine; with first priority being given to healthcare workers, frontline workers including security personnel and teachers vulnerable persons and groups and hospitality sector,” said the Cabinet dispatch.
The second phase of the Covid-19 vaccine in Kenya will be administered between July and next June, targeting 9.7 million people — comprising those above 50 years and those above 18 with underlying medical conditions.
Kenya has so far recorded a total of 105,467 Corona Virus cases, 86,678recoveries, and 1,856 deaths.
What Covid-19 Vaccine is Kenya Using?
Kenya will be using the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Astrazeneca and Oxford University.
The Oxford vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from chimpanzees. It has been modified to look more like coronavirus – although it can’t cause illness.
Once injected, it teaches the body’s immune system how to fight the real virus, should it need to.
The recommended dosage is two doses given intramuscularly (0.5ml each) with an interval of 8 to 12 weeks.
The AZD1222 vaccine against COVID-19 has an efficacy of 63.09% against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The government plans to administer the vaccine for free.
UK helps Kenya prepare to roll-out COVID-19 vaccine
Britain said on Wednesday it was helping Kenya prepare to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Astrazeneca and Oxford University, as African nations race to ensure their populations are inoculated.
South Africa had rolled out the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University but later suspended it’s use following a small clinical trial that showed it offered minimal protection against mild to moderate illness from the 501Y.V2 variant dominant in the country.
South Africa Dumps Oxford’s Vaccine for Johnson & Johnson
South Africa is now using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which is administered as a single dose.
The country has received 80,000 doses of this vaccine, which has been shown to be effective against the variant first identified in South Africa.
More than a third of all Covid-19 cases in Africa have been in South Africa, with a new variant of the virus accounting for most of the new cases there.
According to the Worl Health Organisation (WHO), as of 18 February 2021, at least seven different vaccines across three platforms have been rolled out in countries and more than 200 additional vaccine candidates are in development, of which more than 60 are in clinical development.
Vulnerable populations in all countries are the highest priority for vaccination.
“Vaccines are a critical new tool in the battle against COVID-19 and it is hugely encouraging to see so many vaccines proving successful and going into development, ” WHO.
The WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) has issued interim recommendations for use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (AZD1222).
Among the recommendations is for the Vaccination is to be administered to persons with comorbidities that have been identified as increasing the risk of severe COVID-19, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and diabetes.
WHO further recommends that priority on COVID-19 vaccine be given to health workers at high risk of exposure and older people, including those aged 65 or older.