Children aged 12 – 15 to receive the Pfizer jab as Kenya is set to receive 1.8 million doses of Mrna Moderna vaccine from the US
Dr. Willis Akhwale, the chairperson of the Vaccine Deployment Task Force has announced that Kenya will receive 1.8 million doses of the two dose mRNA Moderna vaccine from the United States of America on Monday, August 23 through the US based global COVAX facility.
Akhwale said that the country will also receive a yet to be announced quantity of the much awaited single-shot Viral Vector Johnson &Johnson vaccine from the African Union (AU).
The J&J vaccine doses are among a cumulative 13 million doses that shall be relayed to the country in several consignments.
The arrival of these consignments shall be closely followed by the arrival of approximately 1.8 Million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in September 2021 as a direct donation to Kenya from the US.
The two dose mRNA vaccine which according to scientists has an efficacy level of at least 91% against the covid-19 virus, will be shipped with its unique storage units capable of maintaining temperatures of -70°.
As a result of this genesis, an optimistic Akhwale says the goal set by the country to vaccinate 10 million Kenyans by the end of 2021, and 26 million by 2022 is achievable.
"Currently we are vaccinating about 40,000 individuals per day. We are increasing this to 80,000 per day, adding up to approximately 2 million in a month. This means that approximately 8 million Kenyans will be vaccinated between September and December," Akhwale said.
He says children between 12-15 years of age may begin to receive the Pfizer jab, as is currently being practiced in the United States. “If it is being done in the US we will also adopt it,"Akhwale said.
Dr. Akhwale further revealed that the Ministry of Health is currently formulating a revised deployment plan that shall guide the ministry on priority groups to be targeted during vaccine administration.
A section of health workers are currently being trained on the administration of the new vaccines, and shall be deployed to counties to train fellow health workers.
Dr. Akhwale states that distribution of the vaccines to counties will be done 2 to 3 days after its arrival and the vaccination shall begin in the same week.
Recently, the Ministry of Health Acting Director General Dr. Patrick Amoth cited the possibility of Kenya practicing mix and match with the Pfizer vaccine.
This means that Kenyans who have received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and will not have received their second dose as the Pfizer vaccine administration begins, might just receive it as their second jab at their dedicated time.