Second Covid-19 vaccine dose in June, ministry says

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe briefs the media at Afya House in Nairobi on April 2, 2021, on Covid-19 vaccinations.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The vaccine has been in high demand in recent days, with members of the public worried about receiving the second dose as scheduled, due to supply delays..

The Ministry of Health has revised the duration between the administration of the first and second doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from eight to 12 weeks. 

The vaccine has been in high demand in recent days, with members of the public worried about receiving the second dose as scheduled, due to supply delays..

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.

CAS Mwangangi announced that Kenyans who had received their first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will get  the second one in the first week of June.

She said that by Saturday, 822,651 doses had been administered and that among the recipients were 152,469 health workers, 126,322 teachers and 66,677 security personal, who had received their first doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

New infections

Kenya’s Covid-19 positivity rate stood at 12.4 per cent on Saturday, the Health ministry reporting 1,153 new infections from a sample of 9,036 tested in the last 24 hours.

The country’s number of declared infections rose to 156,318 while the cumulative tests stood at 1,641,015.

Of the new patients, 1,128 were Kenyans and 25 foreigners, 705 male and 448 female, the youngest nine months old and the oldest 101.

Nairobi County accounted for 190 of the new cases, Nakuru 107, Kisumu 90, Bungoma 72, Uasin Gishu 66, Nyeri 62, Migori 58, Kakamega 52, Baringo 48, Kiambu 44, Laikipia 34 and Nyamira 33.

Busia followed with 28 new infections, Machakos 27, Nandi 22, Kisii 21, Mombasa 19, Kitui 18, Turkana and Homa Bay 14 each, Siaya and Embu 13 each, Mandera 12, Meru and Tranz Nzoia 10 each and Marsabit nine.

Taita Taveta and Murang'a accounted for eight new patients each, Kilifi seven, Nyandarua six, Makueni and Vihiga five each, Kericho four, Bomet, Elgeyo Marakwet and Narok three each, Garissa two and Tharaka Nithi one.

20 more deaths

Dr Mwangangi also reported 20 more deaths, but explained that only one of them occurred over the past 24 hours.

Four occurred over the last month while 14 were confirmed during the audit of facility records, she said. This raised the country’s death toll to 2,603.

In terms of recoveries, the ministry said 191 more raised the count to 106,284, and that 109 of the patients were under home-based care and 82 at health facilities across the country.

As of Saturday, 1,453 patients had been admitted to treatment centres countrywide while 6,832 were being treated at home.

Of those admitted, 210 were in intensive care units (ICU), 49 of them on ventilatory support, 130 on supplemental oxygen and 31 under observation.

Another 163 patients were separately on supplementary oxygen, 151 of them in general wards and 12 in high dependency units (HDU).


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