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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Why Kenya needs Sh1.4billion for COVID-19 storage facilities

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Health Ministry wants Sh1.4 billion from the National Treasury to expand vaccine storage facilities throughout the country and buy freezers that can store jabs at -70°C.

Head of the COVID-19 vaccine deployment task force Willis Akhwale said available facilities can achieve -20 degrees Celsius and store up to 20 million vials.

In a virtual meeting organized 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.

“The ministry is cautious not to contaminate vaccines with those biologicals. That is the reason why we should put in place more facilities that can store the COVID-19 vaccines,” said Akwale.

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 Coronavirus vaccine roll-out against a recommended rate of 80 per cent. Akhwale said the deployment plan will cost Sh34 billion to cover 30 per cent of the

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