400,000 Covid-19 vaccines set to arrive today

A single dose of AstraZeneca's shot is 76% effective at protecting against COVID-19.

A sample of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine (Reuters)

The 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines donated by the UK government are expected to arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) today, Saturday July 31 at 1 pm.

The vaccines come only hours after Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Friday, announced an extension to the 10pm to 4am countrywide curfew.

He attributed the decision to the recent spike in positive Covid-19 cases in the country and mentioned Kiambu, Kajiado, Lamu, Makueni, Muranga, Nairobi, Nyandarua, Taita-Taveta and Tana River counties among the most affected areas.

Kagwe also announced the suspension of all public gatherings and in-person meetings of whatever nature.

This, he said, will include inter-governmental meetings and conferences which should either be converted to virtual meetings or postponed.

CS Kagwe says worship in Churches and Mosques will be permitted as per the guidance of the Inter-faith council and protocols that have been developed.

In person worship should be limited to a third of the capacity of the venue and while indoors they should also maintain a physical distance of at least one metre.

“The number of cases of Covid-19 has in the recent days risen sharply countrywide signalling an urgent need to review and emphasise some of the mitigation measures put in place at the end of June.

We continue to implore all Kenyans including those who have received the Covid-19 vaccine not to let their guard down and urge them to avoid unnecessary movement,” said CS Kagwe.

Kenyans have also been advised to bury the bodies of their loved ones within 72 hours and funerals are to be attended by a total of 50 people.

In an effort to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta’s targets that aim to ensure that at least 10 million Kenyans are vaccinated by Christmas this year and 26 million people by end of next year.

The government announced on Wednesday during the resumption of the administration of the first Covid-19 jab to the priority groups.

To attain herd immunity the country is supposed to vaccinate at least 60 per cent of the population.

The Health Ministry towards the end of May halted the issuance of the first AstraZeneca dose after experiencing challenges in the supply chain, thus restricting the available doses to giving the second dose to those who had already received the first.

But in his trip to the UK, the President secured 817,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines.

Through bilateral donations, Kenya expects to receive 1.7 million doses of Pfizer from the US Government, 410,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the UK government, 235,000 doses of AstraZeneca from Greece and another 55,000 doses of AstraZeneca from Latvia.

“Covax has informed us of an improvement in their acquisition of vaccines. They have allocated Kenya 407,040 doses of AstraZeneca and 271,440 doses of Pfizer,” Health CS Mutahi Kagwe assured.

Kenya has also procured an additional 13 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson through the AVAT-AU mechanism with the delivery of the vaccines expected to start in August.

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