At least 840,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine doses have expired and cannot be used.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Mercy Mwangangi said the doses had an expiry date of February 28, 2022, and had been distributed to the nine regional vaccine stores for utilization by Counties, adding that the serum will have to be disposed of.
“We have reviewed data returns from all the 47 counties, preliminary reports indicate that close to 840,000 AstraZeneca doses from COVAX facility have expired,” said Dr Mwangangi.
“Despite our hugely successful campaigns that saw us on certain days able to administer 200,000 doses in a day and more than three million over a two-week period the country may not be able to utilize all the AstraZeneca doses available before expiry.”
According to the Ministry, the highest number of expired vaccines are in Nakuru with 35,790, followed by Busia with 27,980, Kajiado 25,770, Kakamega 12,870 and Kwale 11,730.
Nakuru also leads with a stock of 35,000 unutilized vaccine doses followed by Busia with 27,980.
Dr Mwangangi attributed the low uptake of the vaccines in the country to laxity among Kenyans following the drop in the number of infections as well as relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures.
“Some of these challenges has been complacency by ourselves as Kenyans in being able to take up the jab following the reduction of the positivity rate and COVID-19 admissions,” she said.
The Ministry has further said it shall institute measures to minimize future potential expiries.
Some of the measures include Kenya accepting donation of vaccines whose shelf-life is at least four months at the time of delivery, working with counties and partners to scale up communication towards demand generation and continuous community mobilization and ensuring counties continue prioritization of COVID-19 vaccination, and implementing measures that ensure utilization of all doses within their jurisdiction.
Data from the Ministry of Health indicate that the daily vaccination rate has reduced from a high of 252,000 recorded early last month to an average of 30,000-40,000 daily. The uptake of the second dose to ensure full vaccination status is declining while out of nearly 900,000 Kenyans eligible for a booster dose only 270,000 have turned up and received their shots.
The Ministry is now calling on Kenyans not yet vaccinated to make good use of available vaccines to protect themselves from COVID-19.
As of Tuesday, March 22, 2022, a total of 17,374,904 vaccines had been administered across the country. Of these, 7,967,097 are partially vaccinated while those fully vaccinated are 7,958,138.
“The proportion of adults fully vaccinated was 29.2 percent. The government is working towards vaccinating a targeted population of 27,246,033,” said MoH in a statement.