Concerns as poor COVID-19 vaccine supply threatens vaccination

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The Ministry of Health is considering slowing down the vaccination process after concerns emerge of the supply of the vaccine.

According to Citizen Digital, a Health Ministry source said that Kenya might slow down or even stop the ongoing vaccination program if supply continues to waver.

Halting of exports

The break in supply came in after India paused exporting its vaccine after a surge of infections in the country. The vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, have been a lifeline for many low-income countries. The halting of the exportation by India also put a dent in COVAX supply.

Kenya has in the past few weeks accelerated the rate at which it had been conducting daily vaccines. The number of daily jabs is between 30,000 – 40,000. However, the Ministry could be forced to reduce the figures, though it puts the government at a crossroads as many are soon due to the second jab.

Over 450,000 vaccinated

According to the Health Ministry, Kenya has vaccinated over 450,000 people as of April 8th. Most of them have received the AstraZeneca jab, with around 527 having received the Sputnik V.

But poor vaccination supply to the low-income countries has meant that Kenya could lag in the process, already blighted by other issues, including misinformation on the vaccine.

COVAX Supply chain broken

Dr Tedros admitted this much on Friday, stating that COVAX was facing a constrain in getting vaccines into its supply chain.

“The problem is not getting the vaccines out of COVAX, but the problem is in getting them in,” Dr Tedros had said. This break in supply, then, has seen the facility send out just 38 million vaccines by the end of March. This is against a target of 100 million.

Thus, Kenya is planning on getting the vaccines outside the COVAX facility. However, Dr Tedros warned that this could continue the ‘vaccine inequity.’

As this goes on,  Kenya continues to race through a devastating third wave, with deaths and new infections remaining high.

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