CS Kagwe Announces Free Covid-19 Vaccine for Kenyans

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Wednesday, December 23 announced free Covid-19 vaccines for Kenyans when they arrive into the country.

Kagwe made the announcement in an interview, adding that the Covid-19 vaccine will be incorporated into the country's national immunisation programme that is offered for free to all citizens.

Officials from the Ministry of Health revealed that Kenya has submitted an application to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi) for permission to introduce the Covid-19 jab into the country.

A medicine vial labelled coronavirus vaccine.
A medicine vial labelled coronavirus vaccine.

The free vaccines are expected to cover 20 percent of the country's population with Kenya ordering 24 Million doses from the Gavi Covax Facility.

The Ministry of Health has also set aside Ksh10 Billion to procure more vaccines to cater for an additional 10 percent of the population during the first half of 2021.

The jab costs vary depending on the vaccine manufacturer with the prices ranging from Ksh 335 to Ksh 4,127, the Moderna two-dose vaccine costs Ksh 5,577 per patient for the two doses.

The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines which are also administered in two doses will cost Ksh 4,335 per patient with one dose costing Ksh 2,175.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is the cheapest so far, ranging between Ksh 335 to Ksh 446 with the Johnson & Johnson's two-dose vaccine costing an estimated Ksh 1,115 and the Novavax going for Ksh 1,785.

Health acting Direct General Patrick Amoth revealed the government has settled on a hybrid system of using two types of Covid-19 vaccines.

"We are currently looking at various vaccines with different costs. Although we have not yet decided on the exact one, we are likely to use a hybrid," Amoth told Nation.

This comes after the Ministry of Health announced that teachers, health workers and police officers will be among the first group of Kenyans to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

Groups of people who come into contact with crowds and those with two or more medical conditions will also be the first to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

An image of Patrick Amoth
Ministry of Health acting Director-General Dr. Patrick Amoth speaking to the media at Afya House.
The Standard