There is a silver lining in the fight against coronavirus disease in Kenya. The country is expected to receive the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine on Tuesday, 2 March 2021. Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the vaccine will arrive on Tuesday and will comprise 1.02 million doses. This shipment is the first batch of the 4.1 million expected doses expected. Ultimately Kenya will import 24 million doses as per the health expectations.
The vaccines are being sourced to Kenya through Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access facilities (COVAX). Another body to which the vaccines are procured, managed, and shipped is the UNICEF, which will also be expected to distribute to the counties. Once cleared at the port, the vaccines will be transferred to Central Vaccines stores in Kitengela and subsequently to the nine regional depots across the country.Other depots are in Nyeri, Meru, Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kakamega, Kisumu and Garissa.
The first recipients of the vaccine will be the healthcare workers in all 47 counties. The priority list also includes frontline workers like security personnel and teachers. In the words of Kagwe, “Healthcare workers and other frontline workers in 47 counties will receive the vaccine.”The vaccines come at a time when many Kenyans have relaxed observing the Covid-19 protocols as were put by the government in the fight against the disease. The country is now being faced with heightened political rallies, which is a weak link that can spread the virus faster.