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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 – Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe, has given Kenyans hope after revealing that the government has ordered 30 million Covid -19 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson.

 In an interview with one of the local dailies, Kagwe said the nationalization of the AstraZeneca vaccines by the Indian government has forced 93 countries around the world to look for alternatives elsewhere.

“There are no miracles regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine. We have to live with the current situation as we find alternatives. 

“In any case, we have until July to worry about the second dose,” Kagwe said.

As a result of the shortage, the government has placed an order of 30 million Johnson and Johnson doses, which will be delivered within a year.

During a meeting by Africa’s health minister last Saturday, Kagwe proposed that all the money raised via the Covax initiative be used to pay for 200 million doses of Pfizer and another 210 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

“With this arrangement, Kenya will not pay anything and will be able to easily get and vaccinate 30 million people with Johnson and Johnson which is being manufactured in Africa and will be a single dose.

Vaccination centres gave May dates for the second dose after eight weeks and the government revised that to June to cater for delays in supply. 

Even that 12-week window is now in doubt. 

The AstraZeneca vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, has said it can no longer give commitments for supply. 

It has begun refunding monies it had received from countries to ship doses.  

The suspension of exports has created a shortfall of 90 million doses for Covax, 40 million affected in March, and 50 million in April.


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