Kenya may be forced to procure alternative vaccines to the AstraZeneca after the initial one million doses were administered.

The Ministry of Health of Kenya said it is in talks with other vaccine manufacturers outside India in order to provide the vaccine to its population, as the chances of those who received the first Astrazeneca jab getting the second shot dwindles with each passing day.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced that the ministry is planning to procure other vaccines, such as the Johnson and Johnson, to meet the country’s demand for Covid-19 vaccination.

AstraZeneca is manufactured in India by Serum Institute and supplied to low-budget countries through a vaccine sharing platform called COVAX.

There has been a sharp decline in supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to a sharp spike in the number of infections of Covid-19 in the populous Asian country.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) Africa head Matshidiso Moeti, only about 2 per cent of Africans have received a dose of the vaccine which is much lower compared to 80 per cent in richer countries.

So far, only 18.2 million doses of the vaccine have been received out of the expected 66 million doses through COVAX within the period between February and May.

Astrazeneca vaccine. PHOTO/COURTESY

India stopped the export of the vaccine until the Covid-19 situation in their country is contained. Export of AstraZeneca vaccine is likely to resume by the end of 2021 as Serum Institute promises to upscale its production of the same.

The Democratic Republic of Congo will donate 150,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Kenya since it lacks the capacity to administer the vaccines before their expiry dated June 2021.

The United States committed to 80 million vaccine doses through COVAX to low-income countries.