MoH revises Covid-19 vaccine administration duration from 8-12 weeks

Written By: Beth Nyaga

PS for Tourism Safina Kwekwe Tsungu watches on as a Tour guide is vaccinated during the ongoing exercise

The Ministry of Health has revised the duration between the administration of the first Covid-19 vaccine dose and the second dose from 8 to 12 weeks.

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The first recipients of the second dose are therefore expected to receive their booster during the first week of June 2021.

This information came to light during a response by Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe during a session with the Senate Standing Committee on Health.

The CS says that the Ministry has taken into consideration guidance from the World Health Organization and current evidence which shows that taking the second dose at 12 weeks provides a higher immune response and better protection.

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According to the MoH, the total number of people vaccinated so far in Kenya stands at 853,081.

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56 percent of these are males while 44 are females.

Among those vaccinated as of 27th April, 2021 include 154,031 health workers, 70,467 security personnel, 129,527 teachers, 259, 961 persons above 58 years of age while 226,089 constitute other categories.

74 percent of health workers, 39 percent teachers, and 10 percent of people above 58 years have so far been vaccinated.

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The Ministry of Health in the same session also divulged that Covax had informed Kenya of the delay in the shipment of 2.5 million out of the 3.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines that have been allocated to Kenya in the period February to May 2021.

Kagwe however said that the Ministry was in constant touch with Covax and the shipment of another batch of vaccines should be received during the month of May.

The CS in his response also said that the global vaccine shortage was beyond Kenya and indeed Covax noting that there is international effort to address the challenges.

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In addition, the Ministry of Health had engaged the African Union with a view to procuring 7 million doses of Pfizer and 10 million vaccine doses of Johnson and Johnson to vaccinate additional 13.5 million Kenyans.

Kenya in the meantime is still expecting a donation of a further 20 million doses from Covax and plans to procure 11 million doses from the same facility.

By June 2022, the Ministry says that the entire adult Kenyan population will be vaccinated.

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