Kenya receives more Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses

In this photo illustration a Johnson & Johnson logo is seen in front of a medical syringe and a vial with coronavirus vaccine. Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Kenya on Wednesday received a consignment of 252,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines in yet another boost to the ongoing national accelerated COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

Dr Willis Ahkwale, Chairman of the National Taskforce on COVID-19 Deployment and Vaccination said the shipment was the second consignment of Johnson and Johnson vaccine doses that had been directly procured by the government.

He noted that the government had made a provision of Ksh 14.3 billion (129 million U.S dollars) to procure 13 million doses of J&J vaccines in the current financial year and that this was part of that provision. With the arrival of the doses, the country has now received 393,600 of the expected 13 million doses.

Akhwale is hopeful that Kenya will receive more doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the coming weeks.

“We are happy with the increased doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines as they will be used in our primary health care facilities, as well as our mobile outreach units,” he added. Akhwale noted that the vaccines are set to increase the number of those fully vaccinated significantly as they were a single shot dose.

Akhwale said Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had made it clear that for the country to fully open up the economy, Kenyans must be vaccinated. He said to date, close to 4 million people had been vaccinated and that the ministry hopes to vaccinate another 1.8 million people by October 20. He urged Kenyans to turn out to get the jab since there were enough vaccines in the country now.