Kenya’s Ministry of Health said on Monday the country had inoculated more than 900,000 people against COVID-19 amid intensified efforts to contain the pandemic.
Mutahi Kagwe, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Health said that 917,068 persons had been vaccinated against the coronavirus countrywide since the exercise began early March. “Of these, 280,876 are aged 58 years and above, health workers, 160,947, teachers, 143,684, security officers, 77,417 while 254,144 are in the others category,” Kagwe said in a statement released in Nairobi. He said the government was keen to boost COVID-19 vaccine uptake amid skepticism among sections of the population linked to misinformation about its side effects.
In the wake of emerging questions over possible adverse effects following immunizations, those who have been vaccinated are encouraged to report any side effects, said Kagwe. Members of the public are encouraged to report adverse effects of the COVID-19 vaccine to the country’s drugs regulatory agency or nearest health facility for a speedy response. Kenya is racing against time to inoculate high-risk groups including healthcare workers, the elderly and terminally ill against coronavirus amid vaccine doses supply crunch linked to the crisis in India. The east African nation in early March received 1.02 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from AstraZeneca under the COVAX facility and plans to administer booster shots from July when the second shipment is expected to arrive.
Kagwe said in April the government was keen to diversify sources of vaccines against coronavirus to help plug a shortfall occasioned by the current global supply crunch. The emergency use authorization for China’s Sinopharm vaccine by the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 7 is expected to boost access to the life-saving commodity in Kenya and other developing countries. Kenya has confirmed 163,620 COVID-19 cases, 112,298 recoveries and 2,907 fatalities as of Monday.