BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,4TH AUG,2021-Kenya on Friday received the first consignment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, comprising of 141,600 doses, as it ramps up the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the third vaccine in Kenya’s programme with AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines already being administered in the country.
Speaking at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) during the arrival of the consignment, Health Chief Administrative Secretary, Dr. Mercy Mwangangi, said the arrival of the vaccine doses will boost the ongoing vaccination drive that targets 10 million adult Kenyans by the end of the year.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is easily stored between 2 and 8 degrees centigrade during administration and can also be frozen at -20 degrees to ensure there is lengthening of shelf-life. This vaccine therefore requires less logistics and operational cost” Dr Mercy Mwangangi.
According to Dr. Mwangangi, the single shot vaccine is expected to be of great utility particularly when reaching the primary healthcare level of the country’s health system where the uptake of the vaccine continues to be low.
“The single dose administration will ensure that these populations will be fully vaccinated quickly. ” Said Dr Mwangangi.
Adding that : “The Ministry of Health will therefore prioritize the distribution of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine towards the primary healthcare level.”
She noted that the country will continue to carry out targeted approaches as well as employ a hybrid approach when it comes to outreach programmes as it seeks to reach as many people as possible.
2,809,389 vaccinations had been administered in the country by the close of the day Friday with 2,020,009 being first doses while 809,380 people had been fully vaccinated representing 2.97% of the entire adult population.
This comes as the Ministry of Health is confident that it will flatten the curve in the next three weeks as the number of those vaccinated against Covid-19 continues to rise.
The ministry noted that the number of positive cases was on the decline in the last couple of weeks though the demand for oxygen was still high.
This came as the government issued an alert over the outbreak of a new variant in Latin America and the UK as the virus mutated, raising concern among health experts.
According to the acting director-general for health Dr Patrick Amoth, they had seen a major drop in the number of those testing positive of Covid-19.
He attributed this to ongoing vaccination measures and the move to observe the laid down health regulations.