Reports have that about 1.02 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccines arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport(JKIA)
The vaccines were transported by UNICEF as part of the COVAX facility, which aims to provide equitable access to vaccines for all countries around the world.
“This is a historic day for Kenya, marking an important milestone in our fight against COVID-19. This has been made possible by the leadership of His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and the hard work of the Ministry of Health. I would like to thank UNICEF, WHO and GAVI for their support in procuring and transporting these life-saving vaccines and the Kenyan people for their cooperation over the past 11.5 months,” Cabinet Secretary for Health Hon Mutahi Kagwe said.
The vaccines arrived on Qatar Airways flight QR1341, which was met at the airport by senior Kenya Government officials led by Mutahi Kagwe (Health CS), Maniza Zaman (UNICEF Representative to Kenya) and Dr Rudi Eggers (WHO Representative to Kenya).
In addition, UNICEF is providing 1,025,000 syringes and 10,250 safety boxes to Kenya, via a global stockpile funded and supported by Gavi.
“With the arrival of these vaccines, UNICEF and partners are honouring the promise of the COVAX facility to ensure people from less wealthy countries are not left behind in the global roll out of life-saving vaccines,” UNICEF Representative to Kenya Maniza Zaman said.
UNICEF, WHO and partners will also be supporting the Government’s communication campaign to raise awareness of the vaccination campaign.
“The World Health Organisation is honoured to be part of this unprecedented global vaccination campaign – the largest such response in human history,” WHO Representative to Kenya Dr. Rudi Eggers said.
Over the past several months, COVAX partners have been supporting governments around the world, in preparation for moments like this one in Kenya.
“The first arrivals of COVID-19 vaccine doses in Kenya represents the start of equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. These first doses are for the vaccination of frontline health workers which are critical to the COVID-19 response and the maintenance of all health services.” said Thabani Maphosa, Managing Director for Country Programmes at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working in partnership with UNICEF as well as the World Bank, civil society organisations, manufacturers, and others. COVAX is part of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT).
4 patients succumbed to the disease pushing the country’s cumulative fatalities to 1,863. Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said yesterday that the Kenya caseload now stands at 106,470 after 345 people tested positive for the disease.
This was out of a sample size of 5,550 tested in the last 24 hours: cumulative tests so far conducted are 1,306,601,
From the cases 294 are Kenyans while 51 are foreigners. 205 are males and 140 are females. The youngest is a two-month-old infant while the oldest is 93.