Nairobi — Kenya announced Thursday it will start distributing Pfizer vaccine doses from next week as the nationwide vaccination exercise intensifies.
The Pfizer vaccine doses arrived in the country last week, as a donation from the United States government which has committed to provide 2 million doses.
The Chairman of the national vaccine Task force Dr. Willis Akhwale on Thursday said the government had not started vaccinating people using the Pfizer doses due to lack of specialised inoculation equipment.
"The Pfizer doses require specialized needles and syringes and these supplies are being delivered next week from the US so that we can start deploying it," said Akhwale.
Dr. Akwhale said there are adequate storage facilities for the vaccine and that health workers had been trained in administering the doses as it has been the case with other vaccine types available in the country.
He said the government has the capacity to store 3 million doses.
"We already got deep freezers which have been distributed to all our regional centers. We also have 15 portable devices that can be used to distribute them," he said.
Alongside Pfizer, Kenya is also deploying four other different vaccines namely AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson and Sinopharm.
Sinopharm from China also arrived last week, in a batch comprising 200,000 vaccine doses with more expected to be acquired through the COVAX facility. More are expected in the coming weeks.
Apart from Johnson and Johnson vaccine, the rest are a two-dose vaccine with a 28-day gap between the first and second dose.
Dr. Akhwale emphasized that all the vaccines are equal when it comes in efficacy of preventing severe illness and death as a result of the COVID-19 disease.
The government has continued to ramp up efforts to attain its target to have at least 10 million adults vaccinated by December 2021.
More than 3.4 million people had been vaccinated by late September.