Starting February, the ministry of Health will conduct Covid-19 vaccination drives in schools and institutions of higher learning as the country seeks to boost uptake of the jab.
Kenya vaccines deployment taskforce chairman Dr Willis Akhwale said the uptake among teenagers has been low, with latest data from the ministry indicating that 30,351 doses have so far been administered to teenagers between 15 and 18 years.
In November, last year, the government started administering the Pfizer vaccine to teenagers aged 15 to 18 years after data reviewed by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board found it safe for children aged 12 years and above.
“We started it when schools were closing, so the uptake has been slow, but we are hoping to work with higher institutions and start drives in schools most likely later this month or early February,” Dr Akhwale said.
Dr Akhwale added that though children are at a lower risk of becoming severely ill with Covid-19 compared to adults, vaccinating them helps protect the whole family and slows the spread of the virus in the community.
To date, over 11 million vaccines have been administered across the country out of which 6.7 million people have been partially vaccinated, 4.7 fully vaccinated and 90,334 doses have been given as booster shots.
At the moment, the proportion of adult population that is fully vaccinated is 17.5 per cent.
Meanwhile, the country’s COVID-19 positivity rate is down to 6.8 percent after 392 people tested positive from a sample size of 5,730 tested in the last 24 hours.
Five patients have however succumbed to the virus, all of them being late deaths reported after conducting facility record audits in the months of December 2021 and January. Kenya’s total Covid-19 fatalities now stand at just over 5,500.