The government is toying with the idea of doing away with double dosage of the Covid-19 jab to skirt around the current shortage of AstraZeneca vaccine.

The idea was birthed after it emerged that the delivery date for the next consignment of the vaccine may go beyond May.

At the same time, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe revealed plans to acquire two million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a one-dose prescription while Pfizer-BioNTech is two doses, just like AstraZeneca.

Kagwe said Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson will be acquired through the African Union (AU) and once the negotiations are done, they will be delivered.

Timelines for their delivery were, however, not given.

“Once we have concluded our deal, we expect one million doses for Pfizer-BioNTech and maybe another one million for Johnson & Johnson once production is ramped up,” said Kagwe. “That combined with what we can get from Covax facility (in this case AstraZeneca) should be able to allow us to continue with the vaccination process.”

He said these doses are essentially to back up and support what the country will be expecting from Covax.

It was expected by now that Kenya should have in the stores 2.5 million doses of the second batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the second phase of vaccination.

However, a new wave of the disease in India, where the vaccine is manufactured, is the reason behind the delay of the jab.

By The Standard