EU ambassadors welcome arrival of 1 million Covid-19 vaccines in Kenya

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe received the first batch of Covid-19 at JKIA on Tuesday, March 2, 2021/ UNICEF

The Embassy of Germany in Kenya has welcomed the arrival of one million vaccines in Nairobi, which were procured through COVAX.

“We will only be safe when all of us around the globe are safe. Germany is making an additional Sh198 billion (€1.5 billion) available to ensure equitable access to vaccines through COVAX,” the embassy said on Wednesday.

The embassy noted that the country supports global vaccinations with €2.1 billion, of which most of it will go to the vaccine platform COVAX to finance vaccines mostly for developing countries.

“Germany believes in joint global approach to fight Covid-19 with our European partners TeamEurope,” the mission said.

Aim of COVAX is to acquire and distribute at least two billion vaccine doses in 2021 to vaccinate 20 per cent of global population with priority of healthcare professionals, risk groups by the end of 2021. Kenya is eligible for vaccines procured and distributed via COVAX. Distribution of Covid-19 vaccines as a global public good and must be fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory”.

France Ambassador to Kenya Aline Kuster-Menager said she is delighted that Kenya has receives its first vaccines under the COVAX scheme with a strong support of  EU in Kenya.

“France plays a leading role initiating multilateral initiatives to fight Covid-19 and ensure rapid, equitable and universal access to vaccines,” Ambassador Kuster-Menager said.

Outgoing EU Ambassador to Kenya Simon Mordue said TeamEurope is working to ensure an industrial scale up of production, to let industry match the ground breaking scientific pace.

“Covax is a global response towards the Covid-19 vaccine, to which the Team Europe has contributed more than €2 billlion. We aim to ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines in Africa and to scale up manufacturing in other countries,” the EU mission said.

Just before midnight, 1.02 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine arrived at JKIA on Tuesday.

The vaccines were transported by UNICEF as part of the COVAX facility, which aims to provide equitable access to vaccines for all countries around the world.

“The vaccines arrived on Qatar Airways flight QR1341, which was met at the airport by senior Kenya Government officials led by Cabinet Secretary for Health Hon Mutahi Kagwe, UNICEF Representative to Kenya Maniza Zaman and World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative to Kenya Dr Rudi Eggers,” UNICEF said in a statement.

“This is a historic day for Kenya, marking an important milestone in our fight against Covid-19,” Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said.

“This has been made possible by the leadership of His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and the hard work of the Ministry of Health. I would like to thank UNICEF, WHO and GAVI for their support in procuring and transporting these life-saving vaccines and the Kenyan people for their cooperation over the past 11 and a half months,” he added

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