Kenya has received the first consignment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, comprising of 141,600 doses. The additional vaccines are expected to boost the ongoing mass COVID-19 vaccination program.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the third vaccine in Kenya’s program, with AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines already being administered in the country.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi received the consignment at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. She noted that the arrival of the vaccine doses will boost ongoing vaccination drive that targets 10 million adult Kenyans by the end of the year.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is easily stored between 2 and 8 degrees centigrade during administration and can also be frozen at -20 degrees to ensure there is lengthening of shelf-life. This vaccine therefore requires less logistics and operational cost,” said Mwangangi.

The health CAS added that the single shot vaccine is expected to be of great utility particularly when reaching the primary healthcare level of the country’s health system where the uptake of the vaccine continues to be low.

“The single dose administration will ensure that this populations will be fully vaccinated quickly. The Ministry of Health will therefore prioritize the distribution of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine towards the primary healthcare level. We will continue to carry out targeted approaches as well as employ a hybrid approach when it comes to outreach programs as it seeks to reach as many people as possible,” she added.

This latest consignment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine totals up the received COVID-19 vaccines to 4,211,500. 2,809,389 vaccinations have so far been administered in the country, with 2,020,009 being first doses while 809,380 people had been fully vaccinated. This represents 2.97% of the entire adult population.