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NAIROBI, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Ministry of Health said on Friday that 1.25 million people will be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the end of June. Mercy Mwangangi, chief administrative secretary in the Ministry of Health said the government has prioritized the vaccination that will start in February to June. "The people to be covered in this period include frontline health workers and all staff working in health facilities both in public and private sector," Mwangangi told journalists in Nairobi. She noted that workers undertaking essential services in priority sectors like security and immigration will also be vaccinated during the period. The official further revealed that 9.7 million Kenyans, including persons above 18 years of age with underlying health conditions will be vaccinated from July to June 2022. "It is important to note that if vaccines become available sooner than expected and resources are available, the targets may change," she added. Mwangangi observed that the government is working towards a smooth introduction of the vaccine by ensuring that all logistical arrangements are in place for the expected delivery of vaccines before the end of February. "Kenya has resolved to adopt a vaccine whose emergency use authorization has the approval of a stringent regulatory authority like the World Health Organization," Mwangangi added. She said that through COVID-19 vaccines global access facility (COVAX), Kenya will receive 24 million doses of vaccines and also procure 11 million doses from other mechanisms to vaccinate nearly 16 million people, about 30 percent of the population, over a period of 18 months. She added that the government has set up a safety monitoring system to investigate and take up immediate measures in consultation with the Pharmacy and Poison Board (PPB) in case of any reported adverse effects from the vaccine. Mwangangi said that modeling teams are currently assessing the situation in all parts of the country to determine whether the country has flattened the COVID-19 infection curve. "Our positivity rate has been fluctuating between three and 10 percent in recent times," she revealed, noting that the government has established vaccination infrastructure with central storage facilities in Nairobi for vaccines requiring cold chains of up to minus 20 Celsius and some limited capacity for minus 70 Celsius in the major urban areas. Kenya has registered 100,563 positive cases since the outbreak of the disease in March 2020 after testing a cumulative figure of 1.177 million people as of Friday. So far, 1,753 people have died from the disease while a total of 83,821 patients have recovered from the disease. - Xinhua
Photo Anadolu Agency The Tanzanian president’s remarks that COVID-19 vaccines are “dangerous” have outraged people, who are criticizing him for contradicting the global scientific consensus. “John Magufuli is spreading misinformation and wild conspiracy theories that put Tanzanian lives at risk,” said Rainer Ebert, a research fellow at the University of Montreal, who has lived and taught in the East African country. As the world banks on vaccines to overcome a pandemic that has killed more than 2.1 million people, President Magufuli questioned their efficacy and urged Tanzanians to use domestic measures such as steam inhalation, which he claims can instantly kill the virus. Magufuli also raised doubts over the global push for developing COVID-19 vaccines, claiming that similar efforts have failed to cure other diseases. “Vaccinations are dangerous. If white people were able to come up with vaccinations, a vaccination for HIV/AIDS would have been found, a vaccination for tuberculosis could have eliminated it by now,” he said on Wednesday. He warned Tanzania’s health authorities against blindly procuring vaccines developed abroad. President Magufuli has previously mocked people for wearing masks and following social distancing rules. The country also halted COVID-19 testing last year after he derided kits made in China that allegedly returned positive results on goat and pawpaw fruit samples. Following his latest comments, Matshidiso Moeti, Africa regional director for the World Health Organization (WHO), called on Tanzanian authorities to ramp up public health measures, such as wearing masks, to curb the spread of COVID-19. “Vaccines work and I encourage the government to prepare for COVID-19 vaccination campaign. WHO is here to support the government and people of Tanzania,” she said on Twitter. - Kizito Makoye, Anadolu Agency
L

ondon’s over-70s may have to wait longer for their Covid-19 jab because of the slow start made in the capital to the vaccinations rollout, it was revealed today.

The Government announced on Sunday that jabs will be offered to nearly five million over 70s and clinically “extremely vulnerable” people from this week.

But, on Monday morning, Nadhim Zahawi, the Vaccine Deployment Minister, clarified that letters to over-70s and clinically vulnerable people would only begin in areas where “the majority of the over-80s” have been successfully vaccinated.

 

That appeared to exclude London, where only 29.5 per cent of over-80s had been treated according to the first regional statistics published last week. By contrast the North East and Yorkshire had hit 44 per cent, and the North West was at 36 per cent.  

Asked on Sky News to confirm that letters would only go out in places that had vaccinated over half of their over-80s, Mr Zahawi said: “Correct. Absolutely right.” 

He said some “amazing” areas had vaccinated 90 per cent of over-80s, while Darlington had completed all their care homes residents. Other areas would get more vaccine supplies and more help “to make sure that they're able to vaccinate the majority of the over-80s and finish their care homes, and then move to the over-70s as well”. By 

Joe Murphy, Evening Standard

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