Kenya to start administering second doses of COVID-19 vaccines by May 5

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NAIROBI, KENYA - 2021/03/09: A healthcare worker prepares to administer an Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to a colleague at Mutuini Hospital in Nairobi. Kenya on March 3, 2021 received its first batch of 1.02 million doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca through global COVAX scheme as part of the 24 million doses the country is expected to import in a couple of months. The vaccine which is currently being distributed to various stations across the country will first be administered to healthcare workers, teachers and people whose immunity is compromised. (Photo by Dennis Sigwe/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: A COVID-19 patient isolation center in Machakos town in eastern Kenya, August 3, 2020. /VCG

Kenya’s Ministry of Health on Thursday announced plans to roll out the administration of the second doses of COVID-19 vaccines by May 5.

Residents of the East African country continue to receive their first jabs of the inoculations, with the mass vaccination drive prioritizing groups considered to be at high risk, including healthcare workers, the elderly and essential service providers such as security officers and teachers.

By Wednesday, more than 340,000 people had received their first shots of the vaccines.

339,893 people had been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine while another 228 received the Russia-manufactured Sputnik V vaccine.

The health ministry noted that it targets to hit 400,000 vaccinations by the end of the week.

Kenya rolled out its mass vaccination drive on March 5 after receiving some 1.2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The country now expects to obtain some 25 million doses for its over 52 million population.

The East African country has so far recorded 141,365 confirmed COVID-19 infections with 2,276 deaths.

Various government-imposed containment measures remain in place, including a nationwide nighttime curfew, a partial lockdown of the highly affected regions as well as a mandatory wearing of face coverings in public.

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