The Ministry of Health has requested 1.4 billion shillings from the Treasury to expand vaccine storage facilities throughout the country and buy freezers that can store jabs at -70°C.
Head of the Covid-19 vaccine deployment task force Willis Akhwale said available facilities can achieve -20 degrees Celsius and store up to 20 million vials.
Addressing a virtual meeting organized by the Kenya Medical Association Dr. Akhwale said facilities with the capacity to maintain temperatures below 70 degrees Celsius are available in Kemri and a few other facilities but they are already holding other biologicals.
He added that the ministry was cautious not to contaminate vaccines with those biologicals.
Akhwale said although Kenya has ordered the AstraZeneca-Oxford jab, it can still buy the Pfizer vaccine once it becomes available and storage is available.
Currently, on the WHO’s Vaccine Introduction Readiness Assessment Tool, Kenya records an average score of 33 percent preparedness for Covid-19 vaccine roll-out against a recommended rate of 80 percent.
Akhwale said the deployment plan will cost 34 billion shillings, to cover 30 percent of the population between March 2021 to June 2023.