Kenya’s Ministry of Health requires an additional Shs. 1.4 Billion from the Treasury for the expansion of COVID vaccine storage facilities across the country. The funds will also help MoH buy freezers that can store jabs at -70°C, the required storage temperatures.
Willis Akhwale, the head of the COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Task Force said that the available facilities can only achieve -20°C and store up to 20 million vials.
Addressing a virtual meeting organised by the Kenya Medical Association Dr Akhwale said facilities with capacity to maintain temperatures below 70 degrees Celsius are available in Kemri and a few other facilities but they are already holding other biologicals.
He added that the ministry was cautious not to contaminate vaccines with those biologicals.
Akhwale said although Kenya has ordered the AstraZeneca-Oxford jab, it can still buy the Pfizer vaccine once it becomes available and storage is available.
Currently on the WHO’s Vaccine Introduction Readiness Assessment Tool, Kenya records an average score of 33 per cent preparedness for Covid-19 vaccine roll-out against a recommended rate of 80 per cent.
Akhwale said the deployment plan will cost Shs.34 Billion shillings, to cover 30 percent of the population between March 2021 to June 2023.
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