State to prioritise J&J jab for people with travel emergencies

Monday, September 13th, 2021 00:00 | By
A Maasai woman is registered for the Covid-19 vaccine at Oltepesi Dispensary in Kajiado, Kenya. Photo/AFP

The government will prioritise people with travel emergencies for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Health acting Director General, Dr Patrick Amoth said people with medical appointments abroad will be given first priority during the administration of the jab which commences today.

Other categories to be prioritised during the administration of the single dose vaccine are Kenyans travelling abroad for a period of over one month and patients with critical care conditions.

During an interaction with health reporters in Nairobi, Dr Amoth explained that people in the category do not have a luxury of time to wait for the second dose as their condition requires urgent attention.

“Such people cannot afford to wait for a second dose after one month and going for treatment. Those ones are automatic candidates for the J&J,” he said.

Dr Amoth said the 141,600 doses of J & J that arrived in the country last Friday was in high demand, a situation exposing it to fraud.

Already, police are investigating after four people were arrested for administering fake vaccine.

“The people who have been arrested will be charged in the court of law because what they were trying to do is criminal,” he said emphasising the need for Kenyans to adhere to government directive to be vaccinated at designated centres.

“We have given guidelines on how to deploy this vaccine,” he added.

Dr Amoth said the first J&J doses, which have a longer shelf life will be distributed at the main government health facilities in Nairobi before they are distributed in other parts of the country.

“We will start with our facilities as the national government which are Mbagathi, Kenyatta National Hospital, Mama Lucy, but we will also be able to deploy it nationally because the demand is high especially among those people with co morbidities,” he added.

He cautioned Kenyans against being conned into paying for any Covid-19 vaccine. 

Head of the Preventive and Promotive Health department at the Ministry, Dr. Andrew Mulwa told journalists the J&J vaccine has never been deployed. 

“The first batch of 141,600 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was received in the first week of September 2021.

The vaccine will be deployed to different health centres nationwide from today,” he told  journalists. 

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