Kenya receives 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from Rwanda

The ongoing accelerated Covid-19 vaccination drive received a boost following the arrival of a further 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine into the country.

The consignment, arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from Rwanda facilitated by Clinton Health Access Initiative, through the COVAX facility.

Speaking while receiving the consignment, National COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Taskforce chairperson Dr. Willis Akhwale said the doses will go a long way in supporting the government in its endeavour to vaccinate its eligible population.

“One year ago, the challenge was availability. Today, we are in different circumstances with enough COVID-19 Vaccines on the continent to share with our brothers and sisters.” Said Dr Akhwale.

According to Rwandese Ambassador to Kenya Dr Richard Richard Masozera, the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic will only be won through international unity and solidarity.

“We have cooperated with Kenya for many years, and we are happy that we can work together to end the COVID-19 pandemic,” Said Masozera.

Other countries that have donated Covid-19 vaccines to the country include Denmark, the United Kingdom, France, India, China, Greece, the USA, Canada, Slovakia, Netherlands, Germany and Argentina. This is besides the 13 million doses of Johnson and Johnson, procured by the Kenyan government through the AVAT-AU mechanism.

The arrival of the consignment, which brought the number of vaccine doses received in the country to slightly over 27 million, came at a time when many African countries have ramped up their vaccination efforts while dealing with challenges such as vaccine hesitancy, short shelf lives among other barriers.

Kenya has administered close to 17 million Covid-19 vaccine doses since it's kicked off the vaccination exercise of its adult population in March 2021 and vaccination of its teenage population with Pfizer in November 2021.

The country plans to fully vaccinate 19 million adults (70% of the adult population) by end of June 2022 and the entire adult population of 27 million people by the end of the year. During the same period, it will also aim to fully vaccinate 2.9 million teenagers aged 15-17 years (50% of the population) and the entire teenage population of 5.8million by end of December 2022.

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