The government will roll out the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine beginning June.
The Ministry of Health made the announcement Wednesday even as it moved to assure Kenyans of the efficacy of the second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine whose administration has been pushed to twelve weeks.
Those who received the first dose were to wait for eight weeks for the second shot.
The recent developments in the global COVID-19 vaccine supply landscape, especially those produced by the Serum Institute of India, have caused delays in deliveries of COVAX vaccines scheduled for the period April and May 2021.
“In view of current advice by WHO that the second dose can be taken after eight to twelve weeks for an optimal immune response against COVID-19, the ministry last week revised the period for the administration of the 2nd dose of the Astra Zeneca to twelve weeks. This means the country will start administering the 2nd dose from the first week of June” said Kagwe.
He maintained that the ministry was pursuing other avenues to ensure the vaccination plan is on schedule including negotiations with other manufacturers like Pfizer.
“The Government is working with the African Union and has committed to secure 30 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine to enable Kenya cover 60% of the adult population and thus attain herd immunity within a year” added the CS.
Kenya has since March last year recorded 164,386 confirmed positive cases and 2,950 deaths.
925,509 persons have so far received the jab countrywide among them 161,702 health workers.
Meanwhile, Kagwe honoured nurses for their selfless service during the pandemic.
Speaking when Kenya joined the rest of the world in marking international nurses day, the CS underscored the critical role played by the health workers who have put their lives on the line in order to care for Covid-19 patients alongside others.
To date, 4,978 healthcare workers who include nurses have contracted the coronavirus disease while 39 have died.
“On behalf of the Ministry of Health, I would like to assure all nurses in the health institutions of our support and cooperation as they go about their daily activities of caring for the sick in our society,” he said.
The theme of this year’s International Nurse’s Day is “Nurses; A Voice to Lead, A vision for future.”