•Data from the Health Ministry shows that 20,868 teens have been reached with the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine.
•Kenya opened up Pfizer vaccines to teens aged between 15 years to 18 years of age in November
A total of 11,144 teens have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 since the government opened up the exercise to teens between 15 and 18 years in November.
Data from the Health Ministry shows that 20,868 teens have been reached with the Covid-19 Pfizer vaccine.
Kenya opened up Pfizer vaccines to teens aged between 15 years to 18 years of age in November after data reviewed by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board found the vaccine to be safe for use in this age group.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone ages five and older get a Covid-19 vaccine to help protect against the disease.
Even though children are at a lower risk of becoming severely ill with Covid-19 compared with adults, vaccinating them helps protect the whole family and slow the spread of the virus in the community.
This comes even as the ministry now shifted the focus on the 27 million vaccinations targeted after hitting the December 2021 10 million target.
“I want to call on those yet to be vaccinated to do so in order for the country to achieve her immunity. The fight is not yet over,” Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said.
“As per our earlier directive, all in person service will only be available to those with proof of vaccination. Let us continue fighting this unseen enemy with all the ammunition we have, including the vaccines,” he added.
On Saturday, the government opened the issuance of booster doses of either AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer vaccines to fully vaccinated Kenyans six months after the completion of the primary series.
According to the actingAHealth DG Dr Patrick Amoth, the new directives were arrived at following advice from the Kenya National Immunisation Technical Advisory Group (KENITAG).
“All healthcare workers, Kenyans aged 50 years and above, teachers and those with preexisting medical conditions will be given priority in the administration of the booster jabs,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said.
The Health Ministry has however noted that the vaccines will not be taken to learning institutions, adding that priority still remain reaching the elderly and the vulnerable populations.
“The issue of going to schools may not be immediate now but is a plan as we get more doses and move ahead. Currently however the biggest burden is in the elderly so the doses that we currently have, our main focus are actually the elderly,” vaccines deployment taskforce chair Willis Akhwale said.
“However for the young people willing to be vaccinated voluntarily then we have opened this opportunity for them but until we really cover those ones that is when we will fully open it for the teenagers,” he added.
So far, 23 million doses of vaccines have been received in the country with 10.1 million having been administered across the country.
Global data shows that 8.47 billion doses of vaccines have been administered with at least 3.63 billion people having been fully vaccinated.
Edited by S. Maombo