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Monday, 12th April 2021
12:52:49pm

Kenya will receive the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines this week, with reports indicating the consignment might land on Tuesday.

The news comes as the virus caseload continued to rise, with 325 more people testing positive on Sunday from a sample size of 3,282.

 This represents a positivity rate of 9.9 per cent, the highest rate ever recorded in February. 

Kenya has ordered 24 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, enough for 20 per cent of the population.

However, Gavi said it will initially supply just a few doses to cover frontline workers and people with pre-existing health conditions (4,176,000 doses, according to a schedule shared by Unicef, Gavi and the WHO).

In a Cabinet meeting, it was revealed that the first batch of the vaccines will be  given to health care workers, frontline workers including security personnel and teachers, vulnerable persons and hospitality sector workers.

The government plans to reach at least 1.25 million Kenyans with the Covid-19 by June in the first phase of the vaccination drive.

According to a brief prepared by the Council of Governors and presented to the counties ahead of rollout, deployment and vaccination plan for the programme will cost Sh34 billion over 30 months.

The death toll in the country due to Covid-19 continued to rise after two more patients succumbed to the virus on Sunday, pushing the fatalities to 1,856.

In a statement, the Health CS Mutahi Kagwe confirmed a total of 347 patients were admitted while 1,495 patients were on home-based isolation and care. 

“Fifty eight patients are in the intensive care unit, 26 of whom on ventilator support and 28 on supplemental oxygen. Four patients are under observation,” Kagwe said.

Another 15 patients were separately on supplementary oxygen with 14 of them being in the general wards and one in the high dependency unit.

“Today, 69 patients have recovered from the disease, 58 from the home-based isolation and care while 11 are from various health facilities. Total recoveries now stand at 86,678.”

The second phase is expected to run from July 2021 to June 2022 during which 9.7 million more Kenyans will receive the jab depending on availability of the vaccines.

The target population in this phase will be Kenyans aged above 50 years and those above 18 years of age with underlying health conditions.

Plans by the ministry show the third phase of the vaccination drive could run concurrently with the second phase, depending on availability of adequate vaccines, with the hope of reaching 4.9 million people who will include all other vulnerable populations.

“It is important to note that if vaccines become available sooner than expected and resources are available the targets may change,” Kagwe said.

Nairobi recorded 207 new cases followed by Busia with 30, Mombasa 21, Machakos 14, Kiambu 11, Kajiado nine while Uasin Gishu and Garisaa had five cases each.

Other counties that recorded new infections include Meru and Tharaka Nithi with four, Murang’a and Kercho with two cases each while Kirinyaga, Makueni, Migori, Narok, Kakamega, Bungoma and West Pokot had one case each.

-Star

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