March, 10th 2021 – Health CS Mutahi Kagwe has said the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine efficacy and safety has been approved by the world health organization and the Ministry of health has registration from the public officers.
At the same time, he urged governors across the country to lead by example by ensuring they are inoculated against the virus at their respective counties.
The Ministry of Health also says that approximately 4,000 Kenyans have been vaccinated against the coronavirus across the country, a week after Kenya got its first batch of the vaccines.
Speaking before the Senate Health Committee, Health CAS Dr. Mercy Mwangangi said that no adverse effects from the vaccine have been recorded as they have all gone through WHO safety trials. She added that the only available dose in the country is the AstraZeneca vaccine which will be administered freely.
At the same time, however, she is pained with the poor state in Nairobi county as there are no empty ICU beds left to accommodate more patients.
Vihiga MP Beatrice Adagala had raised concerns on who to be blamed if anyone will get affected by the vaccine. Mwangangi answering her said that Kenya cannot hold any of the vaccine companies liable as the deal for distribution was made between WHO and the companies.
She said, “The indemnity guaranteed by WHO and GAVI should there be an adverse effect means for us to know the vaccines are under Emergency Authorization Use, let us remember the vaccine is optional and no one will be forced to get it.”
According to the rollout plan, 400,000 healthcare workers will be given top priority followed by the elderly and people with pre-existing health conditions.
The vaccines are set to be distributed to referral hospitals countrywide including level four and three. The National Government is also working together with the County Governments to ensure smooth operations.
SOUTH AFRICA REJECTED ASTRAZENECA
South Africa had paused the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine following a clinical trial that showed that the vaccine offered minimal protection against the new variant in the country.
Dismissing concerns over the efficacy, Kenya received 1.02 million doses of the vaccine this week deciding to go ahead with its plan to inoculate Kenyans against the virus.
CAS Mwangangi said, “We are going to continue with AstraZeneca because we are doing our own sequencing and we are comfortable to move forward with it.” She added that WHO has issued an advisory advising all countries to continue using the vaccine.
FATALITIES IN KENYA
Kenya has today recorded 167 Covid-19 recoveries. 115 from the Home-Care program and 52 from different hospitals. The total number of recoveries now stands at 87,903.
However, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe says, 713 new cases were recorded out of a sample size of 5,230. The total number now stands at 110,356. 12 patients have succumbed, pushing the country’s cumulative fatalities to 1,898.