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Kagwe: Wait for second Covid-19 dose, don’t panic

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe says the government is doing all it can to avail vaccines to Kenyans, amid shortages.

Kagwe further added that Kenyans who’ve taken the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should not panic if the second one delays because having the first dose offers up to 70 percent protection.

“We are better off with a first dose than none at all. We have not heard from anywhere of people dying because they did not get the second dose,” Kagwe said.

It is recommended most Covid-19 vaccines are taken in two doses, with the second coming weeks after the first.

Kagwe also explained there are about 100,000 doses left from the 1.12 million doses the government acquired in March.

As of Thursday 948,980, people had taken the jab, 288,146 of whom were aged 58 years and above.

Others include 163,490 health workers, 149,018 teachers, and 80,153 security officers.

With the delay in the delivery of AstraZeneca, Kagwe noted the vaccine is least likely to remain the vaccine of choice in Africa, further adding the government is in talks with other manufactures including Johnson and Johnson.

The government will also consider taking about 150,000 doses from countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo which cannot administer the vaccine before the expiration date in June this year, he said.

“Other measures include taking back doses from Counties where uptake has been low and redistribute them to Counties where the demand was high.”

Kagwe is also hopeful that Kenya can get 1 million doses from the 60 million doses being donated by the United States of America so that they can be able to vaccinate those who have received the first dose.