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Health CS says Kenya could end wait of second COVID vaccine dose in July

Health CS, Mutahi Kagwe, has announced that the wait for the second dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine could end in July.

Speaking to The Star on Tuesday night, Kagwe also said that Kenyans should not expect miracles on the acquisition of the AstraZeneca vaccine and that seeking alternatives was necessary.

No miracles on vaccine

“There are no miracles with regards to the AstraZeneca vaccine,” he said, “We have to live with our current situation as we find alternatives. In any cases, we have until July to get concerned about the second dose.”

However, he assured the public that those who had got their first injection had nothing to worry about as the jab provided immunity against the disease.

“Your immunity against the disease is higher than 60 per cent. This means that if you get the virus, you will likely suffer fewer symptoms. No one will die because they didn’t get the second dose,” Kagwe said.

Over 900,000 vaccinated

Kenya has vaccinated over 921,000 people, most of them being people above 58 years (256,364). Frontline workers – health workers, teachers and security officers are also among those vaccinated. Kenya’s vaccination per population is still low, though, at only 19 per 1000 people.

However, supply constraints to the COVAX facility have seen many countries stranded over more dosage of vaccines. The AstraZeneca manufacturer, Serum Institute of India, stopped supplying internationally to provide vaccine for India as cases surged in the country.

Johnson & Johnson

In this regard, Kagwe said that the government had placed an order of 30 million Johnson & Johnson, set to come within a year.

The Johnson & Johnson so far is the only single-dose vaccine against COVID-19, with the others currently in wide use needing two doses for maximum efficacy.

Kagwe said during a meeting with Africa’s Health Ministers on Saturday that the money that COVAX raised could be used to pay for 200 million doses of Pfizer and another 210 million of the J & J vaccines.

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