Kenya sounds alarm of expiring COVID-19 vaccines as 840K doses expire

Kenya sounds alarm of expiring COVID-19 vaccines as 840K doses expire

Ministry of Health CAS Dr. Mercy Mwangangi addressing the media on March 23, 2022. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL

The government is now raising the alarm over the low uptake of COVID-19 vaccines in Kenya which has so far led to the expiry of close to 1 million of the life-saving doses.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health said 840,00 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that the country received through the COVAX facility have already expired and will therefore have to be discarded.

This she said is despite concerted efforts by government agencies to conduct mass vaccination drives and sensitization campaigns on the need for vaccination.

“Despite our hugely successful campaigns that saw us on certain days able to administer 200,000 doses in a day and more than 3 million over a two-week period the country may not be able to utilize all the AstraZeneca doses available before expiry,” said the Ministry of Health CAS Dr. Mercy Mwangangi.

“We have reviewed data returns from all the 47 counties, preliminary reports indicate that close to 840,000 AstraZeneca doses from COVAX facility have expired.

According to the Ministry, statistics indicate that every county has some expiries with the highest being Nakuru (35,000) followed by Busia (27,980), Kajiado (25,770), Kakamega (12,870) and Kwale (11,730).

Dr. Mwangangi blamed the low uptake of the vaccines in the country to laxity among Kenyans following the drop in the number of infections as well as relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures.

“Fellow Kenyans AstraZeneca has had particular unique challenges in its administration. Some of these challenges has been complacency by ourselves as Kenyans in being able to take up the jab following the reduction of the positivity rate and COVID-19 admissions,” she said.

As of Tuesday, March 22, 2022 a total of 17,374,904 vaccines had been administered across the country.

Of these, he said, 7,967,097 are partially vaccinated while those fully vaccinated are 7,958,138.

“Proportion of adults fully vaccinated was 29.2%. The government is working towards vaccinating a targeted population of 27,246,033,” said MoH in a statement.

The government is now urging Kenyans who have not been vaccinated to come out and receive the doses.


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