Kenya has received more than one million Covid-19 vaccines under the global COVAX program, according to a press release from the country’s health ministry on Tuesday.
A plane carrying 1.02 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine touched down shortly before midnight Tuesday at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
It is part of an initial allocation to Kenya of 3.5 million doses, according to a joint statement from the Kenya Ministry of Health, World Health Organization, UNICEF, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
According to the Department of Health, the first beneficiaries of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will include frontline workers such as healthcare professionals, teachers and security personnel.
The COVAX program, Jointly led by WHO and nonprofit health organizations, aims to deliver vaccines to developing countries in the first 100 days of 2021 and deploy at least 2 billion doses by the end of the year.
“We know this pandemic will not end in one country until it ends in all countries,” said Thabani Maphosa, general manager of country programs at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
“The first arrivals of Covid-19 vaccine doses in Kenya represent the start of an equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines around the world. These first doses are intended for the vaccination of front-line health workers, which is essential for the response to Covid-19 and the maintenance of all health services. “
In addition to vaccines, UNICEF is providing syringes and safety boxes to Kenya, through a global stockpile funded and supported by Gavi.