Kenya on Thursday launched the COVID-19 immunization campaign at four border points targeting female traders and long-distance truck drivers.
Funded by external donors and implemented by Kenya Private Sector Alliance and Nairobi-based TradeMark East Africa, the vaccination exercise targets over 40,000 cross-border female traders, truck drivers and logistics professionals. The campaign began at the Busia One-Stop Border Post and will be rolled out to the Malaba, Isebania and Taveta border entry points.
Lucy Mecca, Vaccine Quality and Supply manager at the National Vaccines Immunization Program, said the two-month inoculation exercise at the border points aims to mitigate COVID-19 infections among female entrepreneurs and truck drivers.
“We are cognizant of the exposure that traders and truck drivers encounter in their daily interactions hence the need to vaccinate them against COVID-19,” said Mecca.
Patrick Maingi, head of Public-Private Dialogue at Kenya Private Sector Alliance, said the pandemic disrupted regional supply chains, leading to sluggish economic growth, closure of small and medium-sized enterprises, and income and job losses.
“With the uptake of vaccines, we shall not only protect ourselves and our businesses but also progressively secure jobs and reclaim normalcy to spur the recovery of trade across the borders to pre-pandemic levels,” said Maingi.
Ahmed Farah, director of TradeMark East Africa, said that inoculating a critical mass of female cross-border traders and truck drivers is key to ensuring regional trade is seamless, profitable and safe.
Kenya received 2.2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine Thursday as a donation from the German government through the Covax facility.
Over 2.2 million additional doses of AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in the country on Thursday morning. The latest consignment was donated by the Government of Germany via COVAX facility. Kenya had yesterday received 1,462,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine. pic.twitter.com/kyZthaNDOH
— Ministry of Health (@MOH_Kenya) December 2, 2021
Cumulatively, Kenya has so far received over 16 million vaccines. Out of those, 7.2 vaccines have been used while 9 million are ready to be used according to the Chair of The National Task Force on vaccines against Covid-19 Dr Willis Akhwale.
“Kenya will have received at least 25 million Covid-19 vaccine doses by the end of the year with the country now having already commenced mass vaccinations,” he said.
“Even with the emergence of variants, vaccines have continued to offer protection. 95 per cent of current admissions in the country are unvaccinated with statistics indicating that the unvaccinated shed more viruses than the vaccinated.”
On Wednesday, the country received an additional 1,462,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from development partners -Denmark donating 266,400, Belgium 445,300 while 750, 7000 doses were received from the Netherlands.
Kenya has received an additional 1,462,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine in yet another boost for the ongoing accelerated Covid-19 vaccination drive. The latest consignment brought the number of doses received in the country to 14,120,000. pic.twitter.com/VOCXebKoIS
— Ministry of Health (@MOH_Kenya) December 1, 2021
As of December 1, 2021, a total of 7,303,643 vaccines had so far been administered across the country. Of these, 4,483,815 were partially vaccinated while those fully vaccinated were 2,819,828.