[PHOTOS] Inside Covid-19 vaccine storage centre in Kitengela

In Summary

• The central vaccine store has the capacity to store more than 6 months of vaccines stock for the country 

• Vaccines will be moved from the central vaccine store to nine regional vaccine stores, from where the counties will collect and distribute the vaccines to local hospitals at the county and sub-county level.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Health CS Mutahi Kagwe at the Vaccine Central Store, Kitengela on March 4, 2021.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Health CS Mutahi Kagwe at the Vaccine Central Store, Kitengela on March 4, 2021.
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday flagged off AstraZeneca vaccines at the Central Vaccine Store in Kitengela. 

In attendance were Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, Covid-19 Vaccine Advisory Taskforce Chairman Willis Akhwale, Director General Patrick Amoth among others.

"The facility was built in 2013 with the support of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency in order to expand storage and handling capacity for vaccines in the Ministry of Health," Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said during the ceremony.

The central vaccine store has the capacity to store more than six months of vaccines stock for the country at any one time. It can store 130,000 litres under 2-8 degrees temperatures and negative capacity of 14,000 litres minus 20 Celsius, Kagwe explained.

The facility also boasts dry storage space of more than 1000m3.

Kagwe also stated that no one should be worried about what will happen in case of a power outage, because the facility has a back up generator. 

"This infrastructure is going to be key in deployment of the Covid-19 vaccines and for those of you who are wondering what will happen if this area suffers a power outage, I am happy to report that the facility has a standby generator that is able to run all the equipment," he said.

A total of 1.02 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on Tuesday.

The vaccines were transported by Unicef as part of the Covax facility, which aims to provide equitable access to vaccines for all countries around the world.

The vaccines arrived at 11.23 pm on Qatar Airways flight QR1341, which was met at the airport by senior Kenya Government officials led by the Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and Unicef Representatives.

The vaccines are being stored at the Central vaccine store in Kitengela and on Thursday, journalists were shown how vaccines are packaged by the Head of National Vaccines and Immunization Program Collins Tabu.

Vaccines will be moved from the central vaccine store to nine regional vaccine stores, from where the counties will collect and distribute the vaccines to local hospitals at the county and sub-county level.

Head of National Vaccines and Immunization Program Collins Tabu speaks to journalists at the Central Vaccine Store, Kitengela on March 4, 2021/ANDREW KASUKU
Head of National Vaccines and Immunization Program Collins Tabu speaks to journalists at the Central Vaccine Store, Kitengela on March 4, 2021/ANDREW KASUKU
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

The central vaccine store has the capacity to store more than six months of vaccine stock for the country at any one time. It can store 130,000 liters under 2-8 degrees temperatures and a negative capacity of 14,000 liters minus 20 Celsius.

An AC inside the cold rooms at Central Vaccine Store.
An AC inside the cold rooms at Central Vaccine Store.
Image: ABDREW KASUKU
Lock and Key on the cold room holding the AstraZeneca vaccines at the Vaccine Central Store in Kitengela on March 4, 2021
Lock and Key on the cold room holding the AstraZeneca vaccines at the Vaccine Central Store in Kitengela on March 4, 2021
Image: ANDREW KASUKU
Cold room where AstraZeneca vaccines are stored at the Central Vaccine Store in Kitengela on March 4, 2021
Cold room where AstraZeneca vaccines are stored at the Central Vaccine Store in Kitengela on March 4, 2021
Image: ANDREW KASUKU
Immunization program staff is seen inside a cold room housing boxes with the vaccine on March 4, 2021.
Immunization program staff is seen inside a cold room housing boxes with the vaccine on March 4, 2021.
Image: ANDREW KASUKU
Boxes containing doses of AstraZeneca vaccines are seen inside a cold room at National Vaccine Depot.
Boxes containing doses of AstraZeneca vaccines are seen inside a cold room at National Vaccine Depot.
Image: ANDREW KASUKU
COVAX sign is seen on boxes containing the vaccine. COVAX is a global initiative aimed at working with vaccine manufacturers to provide countries worldwide equitable access to safe and effective vaccines.
COVAX sign is seen on boxes containing the vaccine. COVAX is a global initiative aimed at working with vaccine manufacturers to provide countries worldwide equitable access to safe and effective vaccines.
Image: ANDREW KASUKU
A close-up photo showing vaccine details on a box containing 3000 doses inside a cold room.
A close-up photo showing vaccine details on a box containing 3000 doses inside a cold room.
Image: ANDREW KASUKU