Kenya’s coronavirus vaccine roll-out will begin next month, with 1.25 million frontline workers to receive injections between February and June.
Dr Mercy Mwangangi, the chief administrative secretary for health, said the programme would be divided into three phases with the first giving priority to healthcare workers, security and immigration officers.
She explained that so far Kenya, with a population of 48.5 million, was expecting to get 24 million doses via the World Health Organization-backed Covax scheme.
“The country will procure an additional 11 million doses from other mechanisms to vaccinate nearly 16 million people over a period of 18 months,” the senior health official told journalists.
There will be a mix of vaccines currently being used such the AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. “Given the current global shortage of adequate vaccine stocks, the government is exploring procurement through other mechanisms like the Africa CDC, to cover an additional five million people over the same period to achieve 40% vaccination,” Dr Mwangangi said.
It is thought that 60% of inhabitants need to be immunised to achieve herd immunity.
The announcement comes amidst an increase in cases being reported in the East Africa nation.