President Uhuru Kenyatta has revealed plans to vaccinate the entire Kenyan adult population of 26 million people by June next year with 10 million set to get the jab by Christmas Day, this year.
The President said the plan is an enhancement from the one the government had at the beginning of the year and comes after the purchase of 13 million doses of the single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccines which is expected to arrive in the country starting August.
“Our strategy was to vaccinate 10 million adults by June 2022 and approximately 16 million by June 2023,” said the Head of State.
“Instead of vaccinating 10 million adults by June 2022, we will vaccinate the entire adult population of 26 million Kenyans by 2022. In fact, by Christmas, this year, we intend to have vaccinated over 10 million adults.”
Mr Kenyatta added that the country will be giving roughly 150,000 Covid-19 vaccine shots every day starting August, saying that this it will help in the quest for ‘Herd Immunity’ against Coronavirus.
At the same time, Mr Kenyatta said that if a vaccine for those under 18 years will be approved by early next year, Kenya will end up vaccinating a total of 30 million people.
“If a vaccine for under-age populations is registered by early next year, we intend to vaccinate an extra four million young adults by June 2022 with a vaccinated population of 30 million people. The rolling out speed will be accelerated since the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is administered using a single shot.” said Mr Kenyatta.
At the same time, President Kenyatta announced a plan to set up a Human Vaccine Centre in Kenya to elevate the country as a producer for both human and veterinary vaccines.
“Our long-term strategy is to set up a Human Vaccine Centre. I have directed a multi-agency team to activate this plan and to focus not only on the COVID-19 vaccine, but on any other human vaccine needed in our region,” said Mr Kenyatta.
“The national quest to produce human vaccines here in Kenya will elevate our nation as a producer for both human and veterinary vaccines that we currently supply to Eastern Africa, all the way to Morocco in North Africa”
The Head of State’s announcement comes amid a global health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to a huge demand for vaccines but with subdued supply.
Kenya is currently depending on vaccines supplied by the International community through the COVAX facility, which was halted leading to uncertainties in the future of vaccination.
However, the President is confident the situation will soon come to an end, saying his administration is approaching the matter through a mid-term and long-term strategy.
“In the mid-term, we will build in Kenya a ‘fill and finish’ plant. The plan being to import the COVID-19 vaccine unpackaged and finalize the logistics of filling and packaging it in Kenya. This will save us on time and will make us a supply hub for Eastern and Central Africa.” He announced.
The establishment of the Human Vaccine Production facility in Kenya has already kicked off with the development of an action plan and identification of physical facilities to host the plant taking place.