Kenya’s Ministry of Health has approved doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for all people aged 12 and over.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Sunday was given a green light by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board a move that will bolster the country’s efforts to vaccinate 30 million people by end of 2022.
“We are expecting 4million doses of this vaccine which will be administered to the teenagers,” he said adding that the global consensus is convincing young people to get vaccinated “As top priority”.
As of Sunday, Nov 21, a total of 6,388,427 vaccines had so far been administered across the country. Of these, 3,986,501 were partially vaccinated while those fully vaccinated were 2,401,926.
The ministry says total confirmed positive cases stand at 254,710 and cumulative tests conducted at 2,798,001 since March 2020.
“Vaccination is a critical pillar in the control of the pandemic as a long term solution to the prevention of severe cases of the disease, deaths and an enabler for a return to normalcy,” Kagwe said.
His statement was in reference to the ‘worrisome epidemiological picture in European countries where new Covid-19 cases are observed despite successful vaccination campaigns.
In Kenya, he said over 95 per cent of patients hospitalised are unvaccinated.
“Reduced infection rates and increased vaccination are two important ingredients in the continued opening of the economy,” Kagwe emphasised.
Besides the country receiving over 10.7 million Covid-19 vaccine doses and nearly 6.4 million vaccinations already administered, the ministry was concerned that only 18 per cent of the elderly population is fully vaccinated and the vaccine uptake had slowed down following the lifting of the curfew in October.
Kagwe noted that counties with high population densities, Siaya, Meru, Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega, Migori and Homa bay full vaccination status is blow 5 per cent.