Kenya awaits first consignment of Covid-19 vaccine Tuesday

The first consignment of the Covid-19 vaccine will arrive in the country Tuesday.  

According to Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, Kenya will receive 1.02 million doses of Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine.

He said the 1.02 million doses will be the first batch of the 4.1 million expected with the country ultimately planning to import 24 million doses.

The CS, who spoke in Nyeri on Sunday said priority will be given to healthcare workers countrywide.

The vaccine will arrive in the country through Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) facility.

This comes even as the country last week kicked off plans to expand its cold chain capacity across the country.

The Ministry of Health has already initiated discussions with national treasury that could see funds availed to procure freezers that can store the vaccine at -70°C.

The ministry intends to request funds for vaccine storage facilities vaccines that can achieve -20 degrees Celsius and store up to 20 million vials.

Addressing a virtual meeting organised by the Kenya Medical Association Dr Akhwale said facilities with capacity to maintain temperatures below 70 degrees Celsius are available in Kemri and a few other facilities but they are already holding other biologicals.

He added that the ministry was cautious not to contaminate vaccines with those biologicals.

Meanwhile, as the country awaits the first batch of the vaccine, the health ministry announced 152 new Covid 19 cases detected from 2,213 samples within 24 hours pushing cumulative caseload to 106,125.

In a statement, the ministry of health said the new infections include 44 Kenyans and eight foreigners.

83 are males and 69 are females with the youngest being seven years old while the eldest is 79 years.

The health ministry further confirmed that the country’s recoveries now stand at 86,717 after 39 patients were discharged; 23 from the home-based care programme and 16 from various health facilities.

Sadly, three patients succumbed to the Covid-19 related complications bringing Kenya’s total fatalities to 1,859.

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