166,000 Covid-19 jabs yet to be used, ministry says
George Kebaso @Morarak
Some 166,046 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are yet to be administered according to Ministry of Health data.
That is one and a half weeks to the end of the 12-week window, as revised recently by the World Health Organization (WHO), during which those who were vaccinated against Covid-19 in the first week of the nationwide programme are due for the second jab.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said yesterday that 953,954 people have been vaccinated.
Yesterday, 324 people tested positive for Covid-19 indicating a drop in the positivity rate from 9.9 per cent on Saturday to 7.7 per cent in past 24 hours.
The positive cases are from 4,392 tests. The ministry also reported ten deaths and 85 recoveries.
On Friday, Kagwe assured the country that the second round of vaccination will kick off this weekend with expectations of 130,000 extra AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the COVAX facility, through the Global Vaccine Alliance dose sharing arrangement across neighbouring countries this week.
“We urge all the vaccination centres to remain open throughout the weekend of 29th and 30th of this month, so that the exercise can be carried out,” the CS said.
He said the vaccines the country is expecting have a shelf life of one month, meaning they will expire at the end of June.
“Research evidence has shown that extending the duration between doses by four weeks maximises the protective effects of the vaccine. Immunogenicity (level of protection) data shows that an antibody response is two times higher with an interval of equal or higher than 12 weeks from the first dose.
“Towards the realisation of this objective, the government is expecting to get 130,000 doses from the Covax facility,” he added.
In March 2, 2021, Kenya received 1.02 million doses through the Covax facility and launched the national vaccination programme three days after.
Shortly after, the Indian government donated 100,000 more doses to the country.
All frontline workers who got their first dose in the month of March have been urged to turn up for their second dose as soon as they are required to do so by notification from the ‘Chanjo system’.