Kenya has received a coronavirus vaccine donation from the United kingdom, following the meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this week.
The East African nation received 410, 000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, as part of the 817, 000 doses that Kenyatta secured during his three-day visit of London earlier this week.
The remaining doses which were donated through the COVAX facility is expected to arrive in the country in the coming days ahead.
The arrival of the vaccines come days after President Uhuru Kenyatta urged the global community to heighten efforts in promoting equity in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Speaking to Sky News in London, President Kenyatta underscored that the world can only be save if everybody gets to be vaccinated against the virus.
He noted that Kenya is ready to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccines but regretted that the only challenge is the difficulty Kenya is facing in attaining the Initial Public Offering.
Kenyatta had previously revealed that Kenya would have vaccinated 10 million people by Christmas, banking on the ongoing donations of vaccines Kenya is receiving.
Kenya has so far vaccinated a total of 1,682,899 Kenyans.
UK is not the only country to donate vaccines to Kenya.
Earlier this month, Kenya received 182,400 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from France under the UN COVAX facility.
The vaccines were donated by the Government of France to the COVAX facility and transported by UNICEF.
French President Emmanuel Macron also pledged to give 60 million doses of vaccines to countries in need around the world, including Kenya, before the end of 2021, according to aa.com.tr.
“COVID-19 vaccines save lives, keep health and other essential services running, and support the recovery from the pandemic. That’s why UNICEF is pleased to once again be supporting the Government of Kenya in procuring and transporting these vital vaccines,” UNICEF Representative to Kenya Maniza Zaman said when receiving the vaccines.
Earlier, on June 22, Kenya received 358,700 AstraZeneca vaccines donation by Denmark.
According to Bloomberg, Kenya had requested the vaccines and Denmark agreed to the donation on the basis that the East African country has the capacity to dispense them before their expiry at the end of July.
A Bloomberg finding also states that Kenya received 1.02 million AstraZeneca doses from Covax, and another 100,000 through a donation from India.
This year, it got 72,000 shots from the facility after they were returned by South Sudan, which was running out of time to administer them.
World turns to vaccines
The donation comes at a time when companies and government agencies, especially in the developed world are making it mandatory for their workers to be vaccinated against the viral disease.
Google and Facebook for instance announced this past Wednesday that their workers who would be returning to offices will need to be vaccinated.
The giant search engine says it will make campuses off-limits to unvaccinated employees and extend its global work-from-home option through October 18, according to chief executive Sundar Pichai.
“Anyone coming to work on our campuses will need to be vaccinated,” Pichai said in a blog post.
According to a report by AFP, Google and Facebook are among companies worldwide that abandoned campuses early last year, letting people work remotely rather than risk exposure to Covid-19 in offices.
Facebook put out similar word saying that as its offices re-open, only vaccinated workers will be welcomed.
“We will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our US campuses to be vaccinated,” Facebook vice president of people Lori Goler said in response to an AFP inquiry.
The arrival of the vaccines come at a time when the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) has said it is ready to begin dispatching Covid-19 related medical supplies to all counties once orders are placed.
KEMSA acting CEO Edward Njoroge on Friday said the Authority has constituted a Covid-19 management Rapid Response Team to ensure the efficient supply of Physical Protective Equipment (PPE), among other medical supply items.
As directed by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe earlier, Njoroge said the Authority is well placed to respond to the immediate health facilities needs for Covid-19 management.
He added that the Authority is banking on information technology systems to ensure speedy order fulfillment to more than 8,000 health facilities countrywide.