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Aga Khan runs out of Covid-19 vaccine

The Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi has temporarily suspended vaccination of the government-sponsored Covid-19 vaccine following the depletion of the stock.

The hospital also said in a statement it will announce the resumption of the exercise once more doses are received from the Ministry of Health.

“We appreciate Kenyans for turning up in large numbers for the free Covid-19 vaccination under the government program. We shall announce the resumption of the exercise once we receive more doses from the Ministry of Health,” the statement read in part.

As of Tuesday, 130,575 people had so far been vaccinated against Covid-19, against an available 1.12 million doses, according to Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.

“A total of 806,000 of the AstraZeneca doses have been distributed countrywide,” he added.

This statement comes as Kenya recorded 1,530 new Covid-19 cases from a sample size of 8,010 tested in the last 24 hours bringing the positivity down to 19.1 percent.

The vaccine is one of the cornerstones of the World Health Organisation (WHO) push to immunize frontline health workers and elderly people at high risk of dying from Covid-19.

Last week, the Ministry of Health said Nairobi is the biggest contributor to the increased Covid-19 positivity rate as the third wave of the pandemic continues to cause alarm in Kenya.

The government rolled out vaccination on March 5, 2021, while targeting health workers, security personnel, clergy, teachers and other staff in learning institutions.

And now, persons aged 58 years and above have been added to the list of those to receive the vaccines, with data showing that they account for 60 percent of the deaths recorded so far.

The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) said that some private and faith-based health facilities had been selected for this task include St. Francis Community Hospital, Jamaa Mission Hospital, Coptic Hospital, Nairobi Hospital, Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital, Mater Hospital, and Aga Khan Hospital.

Mama Lucy, Pumwani, and Mbagathi Hospitals are among health facilities in Nairobi which have also been earmarked to offer Covid-19 vaccination.

Others are Kenyatta National Hospital, Mathari Hospital, Memorial Hospital, Moi Airbase Hospital, National Spinal Injury Hospital, and Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital.

According to Willis Akhwale, the head of the national Covid-19 vaccine deployment, Kenya decided to use all its 1.12 million vials to administer the first dose to as many people as it can.

The country will then move to give the second dose as soon as it receives its next shipment of the Oxford/AstraZeneca in early April.

The move, he said, is in line with Kenya’s vaccination plan where people are expected to receive two shots of the vaccine eight weeks apart.

“We are not worried about any delays since we are in the process of expanding our procurement options through other mechanisms like the Africa CDC. We are also looking into having bilateral agreements,” Dr Akhwale said.