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Thailand to offer COVID-19 vaccines to Kenya

Kenya shall receive 550,000 doses

NAIROBI, KENYA - 2021/10/14: A resident in Kibera Slum is inoculated with a dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine by a health worker. Despite the lack of resources and trying to make all ends meet, the residents in the Kibera slums took advantage of the opportunity given by the government to get inoculated with a free covid-19 vaccine. (Photo by Donwilson Odhiambo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Kenya is set to receive 550,000 Covid-19 vaccines from Thailand a day after medical experts called on the government to stop mandatory wearing of face masks.

The donation which was approved by World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday, February 11 will be sent to five other countries; Ethiopia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Nepal.

"Following yesterday's approval by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), around 3.5 million doses of the vaccine will be delivered to these countries," Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said.

The donation will be made possible via the initiative known as Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX).

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Covax is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines directed by the GAVI vaccine alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the WHO, alongside key delivery partner UNICEF.

Removal of mask mandate

AMREF Africa chief executive Githinji Gitahi, who is also part of the African Covid-19 Response Commission, revealed in an interview with Nation Newspaper that the only way to protect Kenyans is by enhancing vaccinations.

“We can remove the mandatory masks and let people make their own judgement on whether to wear a mask or not,” he said.

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He further advised that, if the number of infections increased after the dropping of masks, then the government can re-impose the rule.

“The government should continue testing and monitoring as we prepare for an endemic phase of the virus,” he added.

In epidemiology, an infection is said to be endemic in a population when that infection is constantly maintained at a baseline level in a geographic area without external inputs.

So far, Kenya has conducted a cumulative test of 3,284,296, with a positivity rate of 1.0 per cent. The total confirmed cases in the country are now at 322,388.

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Over 14.8 million vaccines have been administered in the country, and 214,662 booster doses. Only 24.4 per cent of the adult population is fully vaccinated.

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