Kenya to buy Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccines

The government plans to buy one million doses of Pfizer as well as a similar number of Johnson & Johnson shots as hope of getting the second batch of AstraZeneca vaccine from India continues to fade.

Kenya has been banking on getting over two million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from India in May but surging numbers of new Covid-19 cases in the subcontinent have seen Delhi stop the vaccine exports to address overwhelming domestic demand.

India currently has the world’s fastest-growing Covid-19 crisis, with new daily coronavirus cases hitting 300,000 on Wednesday, April 21, surpassing even the records from the peak of the US surge.

Read also: Delayed vaccines, new Covid curbs spell doom to second quarter growth prospects

Britain and the US have already imposed travel restrictions to India.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said that Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are expected to arrive in the country by June.

He, however, said that the vaccines must pass World Health Organization as well as the country’s approval checks before distribution.

Kenya has already administered over 750,000 people with priority given to the healthcare workers, security personnel, teachers and the elderly persons.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has reported 965 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, a test conducted from a sample size of 7311, this turning into a positivity rate of 13.2 per cent. The country’s total number of cases recorded now stands at 153,488.

The report also recorded 1,441 recoveries in the last 24-hour period, bringing the total recoveries to 105,279.

Twenty-one deaths were reported, nine of which occurred on diverse dates within the last month while 12 were late deaths reported after facility record audits. The total fatalities now stand at 2,540.

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