Kenya not on track to reach 40% vaccination goal set by WHO

Only 1.6 million Kenyans are fully vaccinated.

TOPSHOT - A medical health worker injects the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to a woman as they visit door-to-door to deliver the vaccines to people who live far from health facilities in Siaya, Kenya, on May 18, 2021. (Photo by Brian ONGORO / AFP) (Photo by BRIAN ONGORO/AFP via Getty Images)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that Kenya will miss out on the goal of vaccinating 40 percent of her population by the end of the year.

In a virtual news briefing Thursday, WHO Regional Director Matshidiso Moeti revealed only five African countries, less than 10 percent of the continent’s nations are set to meet the target.

According to Moeti Seychelles, Mauritius, and Morocco have already met the 40-percent goal with Tunisia and Cabo Verde expected to reach it as well.

For Kenya to have a chance to meet the goal, she will need to receive 30 million vaccine doses a week, nearly double the current 17 million she is receiving from all sources.

This is set to be impossible due to the looming threat of a syringe shortage. Moeti said the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) predicts a global shortage of around two billion of the auto-disposable syringes needed for COVID-19 vaccine and routine immunization.

Vaccination update

Kenya is already experiencing delays in receiving syringes with reports surfacing that only a total of 1,627,206 Kenyans have been vaccinated as at October 31, 2021.

The report outlined that out of the 5,307,181 citizens who have at least taken the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, only 41.7% had gone for their second dose.

A total of 3,679,975 Kenyans are currently partially vaccinated as only 6% of the adult population in the country is fully vaccinated, a majority of them in Nairobi County.

"Nairobi county is in the lead with 17.8% of the population fully vaccinated followed by Nyeri county 15.8% Kiambu 9.5%, Uasin Gishu with 8.4%, Nyandarua 8.1%, Kisumu 7.4%, Muranga 7.3% and Mombasa 7.2%, while, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, and Marsabit have recorded the lowest numbers with less than 1% of the population fully vaccinated.

On the proportion of those aged above 18 years who have received the first Dose of COVID-19 Vaccination, Nairobi county is in the lead with 33.8% of its population receiving dose 1 and Marsabit being the last with only 1.4 % of the population having received the first dose," the MoH report read in part.

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