Nakuru County Government has rolled out its Covid-19 vaccination campaign targeting high-risk groups with over 30,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca.
County Director for Health Dr Daniel Wainaina was the first to receive the jab at the Nakuru Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital on Monday afternoon alongside Director for Administration and Planning, Dr Benedict Osore.
Prioritised high-risk groups include frontline workers, elderly people above 65 years, and people living with underlying conditions and disabilities.
A total of 11,000 healthcare workers, members of the County Health Management Teams, drivers, cleaners and other hospital employees will be vaccinated.
County Executive Committee Member for Health Dr Zachary Kariuki Gichuki said 3,000 doses will be supplied to the Lanet Regional Military Hospital.
Nakuru has so far recorded 4,961 confirmed infection cases and 102 deaths since the first case of COVID-19 was first reported in the County in late March last year.
“Am assuring Kenyans that a single shot of the vaccine is highly protective as it reduces the chances of someone getting ill and needing hospital treatment by more than 80 per cent, the exercise will be rolled out in other hospitals across the county in the course of the week.
Unlike other jabs that have to be kept at an extremely cold temperature (-70C), the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored in an ordinary refrigerator,” observed Dr Gichuki.
While citing the emergence of a potent variant of Covid-19 strain in South Africa, the CEC urged the public to continue observing the set containment measures regardless of the availability of the vaccine.
Kenya received 1.2 million doses of AstraZeneca from the Covax facility, a global initiative to ensure equitable access to the Covid-19 vaccines.
Other African Countries including Rwanda Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, DR Congo, among others, have started receiving Covid-19 vaccines under the Covax facility since late February.
East Africa will receive close to 10 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from the Covax facility. However, the doses are only allocated to countries that have signed up to be part of the initiative. Kenya will receive 4.2 million of these, Rwanda 1.1 million, Uganda 3.6 million and South Sudan 864,000.