Kenya will need at least Sh30 billion to vaccinate 60 per cent of its population, the proportion estimated to ensure proper immunity against Covid-19.
Amref chief executive Githinji Gitahi yesterday said an average dose of a vaccine, on the lowest cadre would roughly go for Sh500. For proper immunity, the population will need to take the dose two times in 28 days.
Sixty per cent of the population is about 30 million Kenyans.
Dr Gitahi said Kenya would require Sh10 billion for the first phase of the vaccination targeting high priority groups like health care workers, teachers, security officers and the elderly who account for at least 20 per cent of the population.
Kenyans have been cautioned not to celebrate yet even as several international pharmaceutical firms announcing breakthroughs in vaccine development.
Dr Gitahi spoke at an Amref press briefing on the Covid-19, vaccines, female genital mutilation and early/forced marriages in Kenya.
He praised scientists across the world for quickly developing coronavirus vaccines. Vaccine formulation usually takes up to a decade.
However, this fast making of the vaccines poses a challenge on how best they should be administered as the virus ravages the globe.
“When it comes to vaccination, we need to take into account many things. These include the actual giving of the vaccine to people. Do we have the right syringes? Are the right people being vaccinated? Is it the right time to administer the vaccine? Does the country have enough doses for everyone?” Dr Gitahi asked.
The Amref head attributed the quick success in developing the vaccines to the SARS and MERS epidemics that hit parts of Asia years ago.
He said the epidemics gave scientists a clue of what to work on.
He warned of a third wave of the virus, especially during the festive season.
Amref released a report showing many young people acknowledge Covid-19 is real but 74 per cent do not believe they can contract it.
The authors of the study attribute the situation to misinformation.