May 17, 2022

Government to administer Johnson and Johnson Covid Vaccine to low intake, far to access areas

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Health CS Mutahi Kagwe

overnment will administer Johnson and Johnson (J&J) covid vaccine to regions with low intake or are hard to access.
The consignment of 141,600 Johnson and Johnson doses are the first of the 13.3 million doses directly procured by Kenya through the Africa Vaccines Acquisition Trust (AVAT).
“The priority of the Vaccine will be distributed to those regions in counties with low intake and far to access,” Heath Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said today. The statement was ready by Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi after receiving the J&J consignment.
“Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single-shot vaccine that is easily stored at 2 to 8 degrees centigrade during administration, and can also be frozen at minus 20 degrees to ensure months of shelf life,” Kagwe said.
The Health CS said that the vaccine requires fewer logistics and operational costs. He added that it will easily be distributed among mobile populations and primary healthcare facilities, where uptake of vaccines continues to be low.
“The single-dose administration will ensure that these populations will be fully vaccinated quickly, since, with their mobile nature, it is difficult to get the return for the second dose,” Kagwe said.
The CS said that J&J will be the 3rd Covid-19 vaccine to be deployed in Kenya. Other vaccines already in the country and being administered are AstraZeneca and Moderna.
“The second delivery of 252,000 more doses will be next week and more doses in the coming weeks hopefully amounting to more than one million doses monthly. This will ensure we attain Kenya’s goal of vaccinating the entire adult population before the end of next year,” the CS said.
The CS said that part of the production of these vaccines received yesterday took place on the African continent at the ASPEN factory in South Africa.
He explained that Kenya through the multi-agency on Human Vaccines manufacturing committee is in discussion with ASPEN for technical collaboration to set up the roadmap towards local manufacture of vaccines in Kenya.
AVAT was set up in November 2020 as part of the African Union’s Covid-19 vaccine development and Access strategy, whose goal is to vaccinate at least 60 per cent of the people on the African continent against covid-19.
Kenya was one of the countries that endorsed the AVAT strategy by the AU Bureau of heads of states and government.

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