This evening around 9:35pm, about 360,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in Nairobi. The vaccines were donated by the Government of Denmark and transported by UNICEF. The flight was met at the airport by senior Kenya Government officials led by Ministry of Health PS Susan Mochache, Danish Ambassador to Kenya Ole Thonke, UNICEF Representative to Kenya Maniza Zaman and WHO Representative to Kenya Dr. Rudi Eggers.
“The Government of Kenya is very grateful to Denmark for this generous donation, which will support the further roll-out of our national COVID-19 vaccination programme,” PS Mochache said. “This comes at a critical time when we have embarked on vaccinating our people for the second dose. It will ensure our health workers and other persons playing a critical role in our country are protected, and that hospitals and health centers across Kenya will be able to continue providing the much-needed care to people affected by COVID-19,” she added.
“International solidarity is so important during this global pandemic” Danish ambassador, Ole Thonke said. “I am very proud that it has been possible for Denmark to make this donation. Kenya is in a difficult situation as they have received fewer vaccines than expected, and it is my hope that the vaccines from Denmark can help fill the gap until more arrive. I also want to thank the government of Kenya, especially CS Foreign Affairs and both CS and PS Health for excellent collaboration in making this happen.”
The roll out of the national vaccination campaign is being led by the Ministry of Health, with support from GAVI, WHO, UNICEF and other partners. The Ministry of Health recently announced the start of second doses for health workers, teachers, other essential workers and people aged over 58. As well as procuring and transporting vaccines, UNICEF is providing support to the Ministry of Health in the areas of planning, cold chain capacity, risk communication and community engagement.
“UNICEF is delighted to once again be supporting the Government of Kenya in procuring and transporting these vital COVID-19 vaccines. These will undoubtedly save lives, help keep health and other essential services running safely and support the recovery from the consequences of the pandemic,” UNICEF Representative to Kenya Maniza Zaman said. “We have to insist on vaccine equity and ensuring that everyone at risk from COVID-19 can get vaccinated, regardless of where they live. In high income countries, 68 people in 100 have been vaccinated, but in Africa only two people in 100 have
- we have to work to balance this equation.”
Barbara Nel, Africa region Country President, AstraZeneca, said, “The arrival of a further 360,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Nairobi is very good news for the people of Kenya. On behalf of AstraZeneca, I would like to thank Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe for making this possible. Our vaccine accounts for over 90% of COVAX supply to date, with more than 77 million doses delivered to 127 countries, including more than 38 African countries.”
“All partners in the vaccine alliance are working round the clock to ensure that as many COVID-19 vaccines can get to African nations as soon as possible. Today’s arrival in Nairobi demonstrates the value of governments, industry and others working together to address our continent’s urgent needs,” added Barbara.