Government now targets to acquire covid-19 vaccines from American companies

The government is pursuing the acquisition of one million doses of vaccines each from Pfizer as well as Johnson and Johnson respectively to supplement the AstraZeneca vaccines.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the vaccines will however have to pass approvals from the World Health Organization as well as the country’s stringent rules to be given out in the country.

Kagwe who was speaking on Wednesday when he received a donation of Personal Protective Equipment’s from Multi Choice Kenya at Afya house noted that although Pfizer requires minus 70 degrees in storage, once acquired by the government, it will not pose any challenge since the government will also acquire the special storage facilities for them”, he said.

Kagwe said that Kenya has only three sources where it acquires the vaccines and that includes government to government like the recent donation of 100,000 doses acquired from the government of India.

The second platform is the Covax facility where the government acquired 1.1 million doses and the last one is the African Union.

He explained that under the African Union facility which Kenya is yet to utilize, they have negotiated rates with manufacturers where the country can acquire the vaccines at discounted rates.

“The government banned the private sector role in vaccines importation because of the confusion it was going to create, as well as the risk of some people taking advantage to sell the doses to Kenyans whereas they are free of charge,” the CS clarified.

He pointed out that the supply chain had complicated the acquisition of more vaccines to the country but noted that the government was working tirelessly to ensure the stocks don’t ran out.

Kagwe noted that under the Covax facility, Africa had expected to acquire 75 million doses but so far only 12 million doses had been delivered.

The CS noted that India, the manufacturer of the AstraZeneca vaccines was further going through a challenging time with over 200,000 cases on Covid-19 being recorded daily.

“It is for this reason that India has slowed down the supply of AstraZeneca to address the problem in their country,” the CS said.

MultiChoice Kenya Managing Director Nancy Matimu said cooperation is important from each and every individual in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic fight in the country.

“We appreciate the government through the health ministry, the medical fraternity, the private sector and the general public for their collective efforts towards the fight against Covid-19 in these unprecedented times”, she said.

Matimu committed to support the government towards fighting the pandemic noting that their support today in form of PPEs constitutes a total of 12,000 KN95 facemasks and 2,000 Disposable Isolation Gowns, valued at Sh2.3 million