Kenya says first batch of COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in March

File photo shows vaccine vials and an injection needle.

Kenya’s first batch of COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in the first week of March, the presidency said on Thursday, with healthcare workers, frontline workers and vulnerable population groups to be given priority.

“Cabinet ratified the distribution framework for the vaccines; with first priority being given to Health Care Workers, Frontline Workers including Security Personnel and Teachers, vulnerable persons and groups and Hospitality Sector Workers,” the presidency said in a press release.

The statement did not reveal details of the type of vaccines or the quantity of the doses that will arrive next month.

In January, the health ministry said that it was seeking an extra 11 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, on top of 24 million already ordered that it planned to source from major pharmaceutical manufacturers like Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.

It said then that the extra doses will be acquired through the African Union’s disease control and prevention body.

The African Union has been trying to help its 55 member states buy more doses in a push to immunize 60% of the continent’s 1.3 billion people over three years.

Last week, its vaccine team said 270 million doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines secured for delivery this year had been taken up.

On Wednesday, Ghana became the first African country to secure vaccines through the World Health Organization’s global vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX, acquiring 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India.