There has been a global shortage of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine which has forced many people to wait a little longer than the expected eight-week window period to get their second dose.
This scarcity has been heightened by a surge in Covid-19 cases in India, where the vaccine is manufactured.
Until now, it was expected that Kenya should have a stock of 2.5 million doses of the second batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
In a recent media briefing, Health Secretary Mutahi Kagwe confirmed that the delivery of the next consignment of the vaccine may take time until after May 2021 but the majority of people are hoping that the vaccines can arrive in the country sooner, before the 12-week maximum period that one has to wait between the first and the second dose being administered to persons who have had their first jab.
Health Secretary Mutahi Kawe Expecting 2 Million Doses
In an effort to combat this shortage and have a backup of the much-needed vaccines, the Cabinet Secretary said that the government is making plans for acquiring two million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, which is given in two doses just like the AstraZeneca vaccine, and Johnson & Johnson vaccine which is a one-dose prescription. This is in collaboration with the African Union (AU).
However, there were no concrete timelines promised for the delivery of these alternative vaccines and their availability for the Kenyans will purely be dependent on the success of the agreement between the two parties.
“Once we have concluded our deal, we expect one million doses for Pfizer-BioNTech and maybe another one million for Johnson & Johnson once production is ramped up,” said Kagwe. “That combined with what we can get from Covax facility (in this case AstraZeneca) should be able to allow us to continue with the vaccination process.”
As much as the government is doing its very best to ensure that it gets enough vaccines for the Kenyan population, all the vaccination protocols will be observed to ensure that there will not be a mix-up of the different brands when administering the second dose.