First 10 people get COVID-19 vaccine at Kenyatta National Hospital
The first 10 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.
Ministry of Health Director General Dr. Patrick Amoth who was the first one to be inoculated assured Kenyans that the vaccine is safe and free for all.
“We will offer ourselves to be vaccinated today (Friday). Let us portray the correct message to the public,” he said.
KNH Chief Executive Officer Dr. Evanson Kamuri was the second person to be vaccinated, followed by a nurse at the hospital and Dr Collins Tabu (head of immunization and vaccine in the Health Ministry).
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Health PS Susan Mochache said the vaccination exercise will begin in all county referral hospitals after the launch at KNH.
She said the ministry is employing a data management registry to enable traceability and provide required reports.
“It is our responsibility to ensure all the health care workers get support. This may mark the beginning of the end of the pandemic,” she said.
WHO Representative in Kenya Rudi Eggers said there will be no cost to Kenyans for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
According to him, the vaccine is a game changer but after vaccination there is still need to continue wearing masks, wash hands and ensure social distancing.
“With the vaccine arrival we are on the road to full recovery from the pandemic,” said Dr. Eggers.
Amref Group Chief Executive Officer Dr. Githinji Gitahi reiterated that this is not the first vaccine that Kenya is administering.
He also noted that the government has pledged that no Kenyan will be left behind adding that data collection and management of information of recipients the vaccine is key.
The vaccines were procured by UNICEF under the COVAX facility, which is co-led by Gavi (a public–private global health partnership); World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
On Thursday, President Uhuru Kenyatta flagged off trucks carrying vaccines at the Central Vaccine Depot in Kitengela, Kajiado County.
The Head of State cautioned Kenyans to stop peddling falsehoods on the Covid-19 vaccination exercise saying frontline health workers and service providers will be the first in line to receive the vaccine.
He had visited the central COVID-19 vaccines storage facility with Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, UNICEF Representative in Kenya Maniza Zaman and other officials.
The vaccines were procured and delivered by UNICEF as part of the COVAX initiative. They will be transported from the central warehouse to regional depots across the country.
The initial distribution of the first 495,000 doses gives the Nairobi regional store the highest quantity of 138,000 doses, Kisumu (54,000), Nakuru (54,000), Mombasa (42,000), Kakamega (42,000), Garissa and Meru 21,000 and Nyeri (18,000).
Level 6 hospitals will receive 33,000 doses and military level 4 hospitals 21,000 doses. The quantity of vaccines for each county is determined by the number of frontline workers.
The next batch of vaccines is expected in the country either by the end of March or early April.