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Pfizer doses from US to arrive in Kenya next month

Akhwale says talks are at an advanced stage to ensure timely delivery of the vaccine

In Summary

• US President Joe Biden last month pledged 500 million doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to developing nations just before the G7 Summit.

• The 500 million doses have been donated to the Covax facility, which will share the vaccines in partnership with the African Union.

The new vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech is more than 90 per cent effective
The new vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech is more than 90 per cent effective
Image: REUTERS

The 1.7 million doses of Pfizer vaccine donated by the US are expected to arrive in the country in August.

US President Joe Biden last month pledged 500 million doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to developing nations just before the G7 Summit.

The 500 million doses have been donated to the Covax facility, which will share the vaccines in partnership with the African Union.

“The first 60 million doses will be deployed in August and what I can tell you is that Africa will receive a significant portion because we recognise the coverage is still low even with the doses they have procured,” Gayle Smith said.

Smith is the coordinator for Global Covid-19 Response and Health Security at the US Department of State.

“We are working with partners in Africa, with governments, civil society, healthcare organisations, the African Union and the African CDC to move these vaccines as quickly as possible because we are all aware the coverage is low but the third wave is intense,” Smith said.

“The delta variant is quite strong, so we have to do the best we can in partnership with governments in Africa to get these vaccines out there.”

Head of vaccines deployment task force in the country Dr Willis Akhwale on Thursday confirmed that talks between Kenya and the US government are at an advanced stage to ensure timely delivery of the vaccine.

“Logistics are almost ready, but as a country, we are ready to receive them from the end of this month,” Akhwale said.

By Wednesday, 595,810 people had received their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, representing just 2.2 per cent of the Kenyan adult population fully vaccinated.

Data from the Health ministry shows that 1,636,475 vaccines have so far been administered across the country.

Of these, 1,040,665 people received their first doses, with the uptake of the second dose among those who received their first dose being at 57.3 per cent.

Those who have received the second dose include 107,707 healthcare workers, 84,264 teachers, 47,316 security officers, 185,933 people aged 58 years and above, and 170,590 members of the public.

Edited by A.N