Kenya ‘about to run out’ of COVID-19 vaccines
Kenya will exhaust its supply of Covid-19 vaccines as early as next week, the chairman of the country’s vaccination taskforce has told the BBC.
Dr Willis Akhwale said Kenya had received more than one million doses out of 3.5 million AstraZeneca vaccines that it requested from Covax.
“We have vaccinated close to 940,000 Kenyans, so we don’t have more doses remaining,” he said.
This means less than 2% of Kenyans have received their first jab.
Health authorities had expected to begin administering the second dose from the first week of June but this timeline can no longer be guaranteed.
India’s suspension of vaccine export as it deals with an exponential surge of cases has affected vaccine campaigns around the world, especially in countries depending on the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Dr Akhwale said Kenya had ordered 30 million doses from Johnson & Johnson which are expected to be delivered in August.
Experts are warning that insufficient vaccination in African countries may lead to mutations of coronavirus, creating a crisis similar to India’s.
Dr Akhwale said that equitable distribution of vaccines “must happen”.
“‘You are not safe until I am safe’ must be our guiding principle,” he added.