Kenya Covid-19 vaccine rollout gathers pace as 325,000 people get the shot

The pace of administration of the Covid-19 vaccine continues to speed up in Kenya with 325,592 people already receiving the jab as at April 6, latest figures from the Ministry of Health show.

The initial phase of vaccination, which targets frontline healthcare workers, security personnel, teachers as well as senior citizens above 58 years, has seen Nairobi County lead with about 108,180 people getting the shot.

Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Kisumu and Kiambu counties follow closely with a total of 23,511, 18,516 and 13,644 people respectively receiving the vaccine.

At the global scene, regulators may soon issue their first formal warnings about AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine and rare blood clots, a move that threatens to cloud the critical rollout of a cheap and easy-to-store vaccine, after a top vaccine official at the European Medicines Agency said that there did appear to be a link.

Read also: Kenya gets Sh255bn IMF loan to fight Covid-19 pandemic

The agency said it would meet this week to consider updating its guidance, but it has not formally changed its formal advice, issued last week, that the benefits of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine outweigh the risks.

At the moment, the clots are, by all measures very uncommon, with 44 cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, 14 of them turning fatal, among the approximately 9.2 million people who received the vaccine — equivalent to a risk for one in every 100,000 people under 60 given the vaccine.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Health has urged Kenyans who are eligible for the vaccination to take the jab at the designated facilities for free, with assurances that those who have received the first dose will as well get the second shot as planned.

Kenya has in the last 24 hours recorded 394 new Covid-19 cases, from a sample size of 2,923 tested. This represents a positivity rate of 13.5 per cent bringing to a total of 139,842 positive cases so far confirmed.

“209 of the cases are males and 185 are females. The youngest is an eight-month old infant while the oldest is a 95-year-old,” a statement from the ministry said.

The 394 cases are distributed across the country with Nairobi still leading at 246 cases, followed by Kiambu and Machakos at 29 and 23 cases respectively.

14 deaths have been recorded in the latest report by the Ministry of Health pushing the total number of fatalities in Kenya to 2,258.

At the same time 2,217 patients have recovered from the disease, 1,542 from various health facilities and 675 from home based care bringing the total number of recoveries to 96,578.

Kenya has now recorded 140,000 cases of Covid-19 since the first case was reported in the country over a year ago. About 96,578 people have recovered from the disease while 2,258 have succumbed to the virus.

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