Kenya on Friday received the first consignment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, comprising of 141,600 doses, as it ramps up the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination programme.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the third vaccine in Kenya’s programme with AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines already being administered in the country.
Speaking at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport while receiving the consignment, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi , who was representing Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, said the arrival of the vaccine doses will boost ongoing vaccination drive that targets 10 million adult Kenyans by the end of the year.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is easily stored between 2 and 8 degrees centigrade during administration and can also be frozen at -20 degrees to ensure there is lengthening of shelf-life. This vaccine therefore requires less logistics and operational cost” said Mwangangi.
The health CAS said the single shot vaccine is expected to be of great utility particularly when reaching the primary healthcare level of the country’s health system where the uptake of the vaccine continues to be low.
“The single dose administration will ensure that this populations will be fully vaccinated quickly. The ministry of health will therefore prioritize the distribution of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine towards the primary healthcare level.” Observed Mwangangi.
She said the country will continue to carry out targeted approaches as well as employ a hybrid approach when it comes to outreach programmes as it seeks to reach as many people as possible.
The arrival of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine means that the country has now received a total of 4,211,500 Covid-19 vaccine doses.
2,809,389 vaccinations had been administered in the country by the close of the day Friday with 2,020,009 being first doses while 809,380 people had been fully vaccinated representing 2.97% of the entire adult population.
STATEMENT ON COVID-19 IN NAKURU COUNTY
Last month, we witnessed the highest number of COVID 19 cases and deaths in a single month since the first case was reported in Nakuru. 2005 cases were recorded while 551 people were admitted in various health facilities. We had 41 patients in the ICU. Unfortunately, we lost 196 people to this disease.
It is worth noting that 23.5 percent of the cases were teachers and students. Sub counties with the highest cases are Naivasha, Nakuru East, Bahati and Gilgil sub counties.
The medical staff have noted with great concern, that majority of the people who seek help in our facilities do so when the symptoms are too severe and it is too late to reverse the damage.
We therefore urge our people to avoid taking home remedies or buying drugs in the chemist and instead visit the nearest health facility when they notice any symptom. The early symptoms include Headaches, chills, cough, sore throat, body weakness, fatigue and difficulty in breathing. Most times they may be confused for a normal flu.
We have also noted that the public has slowed down and in some cases completely stopped following the prevention measures. People freely walk into the supermarkets and other buildings without washing their hands or sanitizing and some wear their masks without covering the nose.
Deaths were also reported in Kuresoi North and Kuresoi South Sub counties yet they used to have the least number of cases, showing that the disease has spread throughout the County even in the rural areas.
Naivasha Sub County continues to lead in the number of cases. 449 cases were reported in August. Majority of these cases can be attributed to the conferencing facilities that accommodate people from all over the country. We ask the hotels and other hospitality facilities to strictly adhere to social distancing in the conference halls and ensure their guests are wearing face masks.
As a County, we will heighten surveillance in all hotels to ensure the preventive guidelines are strictly followed. We will not hesitate to close some of the places that flout the rules.
A few weeks ago, the Ministry of Transport allowed resumption of full capacity in the public transport vehicles. In light of this development, we ask the public to take personal responsibility of their health and wear face masks throughout the journey. Matatu operators must ensure the passengers wash their hands or sanitize before boarding the vehicles.
With the help of the County Commissioner, the County enforcement team and other security agencies, we will enforce all preventive guidelines and save our people from unnecessary deaths.
We will continue to offer all the necessary care for patients who test positive
for Covid 19.