NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenya’s health minister says it expects to receive 24 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University next month.
Mutahi Kagwe says health workers and teachers will have priority in vaccinations in East Africa’s economic hub and the shots will be voluntary.
The government in the past has said it expected the initial 24 million doses to be free under the global COVAX facility, with the government paying for another 12 million doses.
Kenya has more than 97,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, and a recent surge in infections has eased. The country has been participating in a small-scale trial of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which requires two doses administered weeks apart.
The vaccine can be stored at what AstraZeneca has called “normal refrigerated conditions.” That’s a plus in parts of Africa where infrastructure is a challenge.