Feb, 3rd 2021 – Kenya is looking forward to receiving the first doses of covid-19 vaccines in mid-February. According to the ministry of health, the country is ready to store and distribute the vaccine to the targetted groups.
However, the growing vaccine mistrust and misinformation could undermine efforts to manage the pandemic. The government is looking to use open dialogue to address misinformation, without dismissing Kenyans’ real vaccine concerns and hesitancy.
Kenya is targeting to distribute the vaccine to 1.2 million between February and June. Dr. Willis Akhwale, the chairperson of the task force for covid-19 vaccine deployment and the vaccination process says Kenya has made all the necessary preparations for the vaccine.
Besides the storage facility in Kitengela, there are other storage facilities in Kakamega, Nyeri, Garissa, Meru, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, and Nairobi. According to the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, the facilities that had been developed primarily for immunization of children below the age of five will now have to come in handy at this time of the pandemic to help the situation.
He said, “Nonetheless, the infrastructure will be deployed for the needs of Covid-19 vaccines, which, for the first time, place a requirement on the deployment of vaccines to the adult population on a large scale.”
Dr. Willis said, “Immediately the vaccines arrive, we are ready and steady to start the vaccination process. A lot of the killer diseases, whooping cough, measles, etc, without the vaccines, there would be many many deaths. So vaccines have had a very big impact in protecting and saving lives.”
Health officials have also announced that there is intention to build a capacity of more than 23,000 health care workers, including 8,000 health volunteers in areas of vaccine administration, logistics management, data capture, reporting and monitoring.