Covid: Kenya shifts second dose vaccination to June over shortages
London, April 25, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Kenyans who were expecting to get their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in early May, will now be required to wait for four more weeks to do so.
The Ministry of Health has issued the new directives in the wake of looming shortage of vaccines as a result of the global supply chain challenges.
As at Friday, at least 802,000 Kenyans had been inoculated with the first dose of the vaccine, with those who had received their first doses expected to get the second shot around May 5.
In a press briefing at Afya House in Nairobi on Saturday, Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Mercy Mwangangi noted that guidelines by the World Health Organization (WHO) show that taking the second dose at 12 weeks provides a higher immune response and better protection.
The ministry sought to reassure the public, saying the government and the Covax facility, a coalition led by WHO and Gavi that aims to help countries get equitable access to vaccines, “are doing everything possible to address delays in delivery and that the second dose is administered as soon as possible”.
“The facility’s current forecast is that additional doses will be available in May, pending further confirmation from India,” she said.
The first person to receive the dose in Kenya was Ag DG health Dr Patrick Amoth who received it at KNH on March 5.
“The first recipients of the second dose are therefore expected to receive it during the first week of June again for clarification purposes Kenyans who got vaccinated in the first week around March 5 probably got a message telling them that they should come round around May 5 that is at week eight,” Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi said.
“Now we are telling you we have shifted that date by four weeks so if the message was coming in by 5th of May you count another four weeks and of course we shall be able to communicate with you and give you your new date of the second vaccine,” she added.