Reprieve as eight million vaccines secured

The Ministry of Health has secured key vaccines for children, plugging a biting shortage that was threatening to cripple healthcare services across Kenya.

“The Ministry of Health has allocated Kes1.25 billion to urgently procure routine childhood vaccines, including BCG, Oral Polio, Tetanus-Diphtheria, and Measles Rubella, which had reached critically low levels in the country,” the Ministry said.

Medical Services PS Harry Kimtai confirmed the receipt of over eight million doses of various vaccines including Measles-Rubella, Oral Polio, Tetanus-Diphtheria, and BCG vaccines that are to be dispatched to different parts of the country.

“We are pleased to announce the receipt of the following vaccines: 1,209,500 doses of Measles-Rubella vaccine, 3,032,000 doses of Oral Polio Vaccine (bOPV), 1,000,000 doses of Tetanus-Diphtheria vaccine, and 3,129,000 doses of BCG vaccine.”

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Kimtai noted that the vaccines are currently undergoing processing for urgent distribution to regional stores. Additional refrigerated trucks have been engaged to expedite the delivery to health facilities and communities by mid-June. Healthcare workers are urged to collaborate with community health teams to ensure children catch up on missed vaccinations.

Kimtai emphasized the importance of caregivers bringing their children for immunization now that the vaccine supply looks stable.

“We also urge all caregivers to bring their children back to the facilities for immunization as the vaccine supply has now normalized in the country,” said Kimtai.

Furthermore, the Ministry is committed to exploring sustainable financing options for vaccine procurement and program operations to prevent future shortages, with ongoing engagement with the National Treasury to allocate increased resources to the immunization program.

“We will continue engaging the National Treasury to ensure increased and dedicated resources are allocated to the immunization program, ensuring stable vaccine supplies. Ring-fencing domestic resources will guarantee sustainable financing for immunization and universal access to vaccines, aligning with our efforts in Primary Health Care,” Kimtai said.

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