Home Africa Kenya to Provide Covid-19 Vaccine Jab Free of Charge

Kenya to Provide Covid-19 Vaccine Jab Free of Charge

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Kenya to Provide Covid-19 Vaccine Jab Free of Charge

Kenyans will receive the Covid-19 vaccine free of charge when it becomes available, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has said.

Mr Kagwe, in an interview yesterday, said the Covid-19 jab will be incorporated into the country’s national immunisation programme vaccines that are offered for free to all citizens.

An estimated 95,195 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the country, with 1,648 of these succumbing to the virus.

Total recoveries stand at 76,508, as per numbers released yesterday by the Health Ministry.

The global confirmed cases stand at nearly 79 million and more than 1.7 million deaths.

Health Ministry officials have said Kenya has submitted an application to Gavi, the global vaccine alliance, for permission to introduce the Covid-19 jab in the country. Gavi is a public-private global health partnership that aims to increase access to immunisation in poor countries.

Free jabs

The free jabs — which, according to Health Director-General Patrick Amoth, are estimated at 24 million doses — expected from Gavi’s Covax Facility, will be enough to vaccinate 20 per cent of the population.

The Health Ministry has also set aside Sh10 billion to procure more doses to vaccinate an additional 10 per cent of the population during the first half of next year.

The cost of each dose ranges from Sh335 to Sh4,127 ($3 to$37); depending on the manufacturer of the vaccine. Moderna, a two-dose vaccine that received an emergency use authorisation by the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday last week, announced each dose will cost about Sh2,788 ($25), adding up to around Sh5,577 ($50) per patient.

Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines, also given in two doses, will cost Sh2,175 ($19.50) per dose, which adds up to Sh4,3350 ($39) per patient since each vaccine requires a two-dose regimen, while each jab for AstraZeneca’s two-dose vaccine could be the cheapest at Sh335 to Sh446 ($3 to $4) each. Johnson & Johnson’s two-dose vaccine will cost an estimated Sh1,115 ($10), while Novavax’s two-dose vaccine is estimated at Sh1,785 ($16) a jab.

According to Dr Amoth, the government has also settled on using a hybrid system, in which two types of Covid-19 vaccines will be rolled out in the planned vaccination drive. The country, he said, would get access to more vaccines via deals negotiated with pharmaceutical companies and individual countries.

Covid-19 vaccine

“We are currently looking at various vaccines with different costs. Although we have not yet decided on the exact one, we are likely to use a hybrid,” he said during a phone interview with the Nation.