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Kenya receives first batch of COVID-19 vaccines

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Kenya on Wednesday received the first batch of over one million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine via the World Health Organisation (WHO)-led COVAX global distribution facility, officials said.

A group of international agencies affiliated with COVAX said this in a joint statement.

“Just after midnight this morning, 1.02 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.

The vaccines were transported by UNICEF as part of the COVAX facility, which aims to provide equitable access to vaccines for all countries around the world,” the statement said.

Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe, who received the vaccine on arrival at the airport, called this “a historic day for Kenya” marking an important milestone in the fight against the pandemic.

Health care workers and other essential workers including security personnel have been prioritised to receive the vaccine during the vaccination campaign in the African country.

Nigeria, Ghana, the Ivory Coast are among the African nations that have already received the first batches of the coronavirus vaccine through COVAX.

COVAX is an arm of the WHO-backed ACT Accelerator facility whose aim is to bring together and make equitably accessible all global developments in the diagnostics, treatment, and vaccines against COVID-19.

The COVAX facility is responsible for the vaccines. COVAX is co-led by the Gavi vaccine alliance, the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

At least 2 billion doses of vaccine are expected to be delivered in 2021 to COVAX participating countries around the globe.

(Sputnik/NAN)

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