The fight against Covid 19 pandemic in Kenya has received a major boost following the arrival of batch of 880,460 doses of the Moderna vaccine.
The doses are the first batch of a total of 1.76 million doses of the Moderna vaccine from the United States (US) government. The vaccines which are being distributed in Kenya, among other less developed countries, are provided through the global Covax initiative, which is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, WHO, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
This is the first time that the Moderna vaccines have been received in Kenya. To date, Kenyans have had access to Astra Zeneca vaccine and the arrival of Moderna brings to two out of the six approved types of vaccines available approved by the World Health Organization.
The arrival will go a long way to increase access of the Covid vaccine to Kenyans. The government is targeting to vaccinate 10 million Kenyans by the end of December this year in a bid to create herd immunity.
The Covax initiative has greatly assisted less developed countries access vaccines as part of the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. It works through partnership between UNICEF, the World Bank, civil society organizations, manufacturers, and others to aid in logistics and safe delivery of the doses to people.
The initiative came out of a realisation an early stage during this pandemic that to end this global crisis, there was need to ensure that everyone in the world has access to the vaccines.
This triggered global leaders to call for a solution that would accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, as well as diagnostics and treatments, and guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to them for people in all countries, and the solution was – COVAX, a truly unique global collaborative effort.
The US has joined other bilateral partners which have stepped in to support Kenya’s response to the pandemic. The vaccines are being distributed free to all Kenyans up to the age of 18 years.