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PS Kimtai announces allocation of Sh1.2 billion to procure vaccines amid shortage

Principal Secretary for Medical Services Harry Kimtai

The Ministry of Health has set aside Sh1.25 billion to urgently procure vaccines amid the shortage of childhood vaccines in the country.

In a statement issued on Thursday, PS Harry Kimtai of Medical Services acknowledged the shortage of the BCG vaccine, oral polio vaccine and measles and rubella vaccine, with only two months of stock available nationwide.

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PS Kimtai further revealed that stock levels for most other routine childhood vaccines, including those supported by Gavi (such as pneumococcus, rotavirus, HPV and malaria vaccines), are low, with only three to six months of stock available.

To avoid the crisis, Kimtai stated that the ministry is tracking vaccine consumption at all levels nationwide and facilitating redistribution among counties to alleviate the shortage situation.

“As an urgent interim measure, the National Vaccine and Immunization Program (NVIP) is redistributing the current stock of routine vaccines available throughout the country,” PS Kimtai said.

Despite the logistical challenges arising from the current heavy rains, the PS assured that the Ministry is accelerating the shipment of vaccines, which are expected to arrive in the first week of June 2024.

“Mechanisms for ‘accelerated transition planning’ are being established with Gavi support, including exploring innovative options for sustainable financing of vaccine procurement and program operations. We are engaging the National Treasury to ensure that greater and dedicated resources are allocated to the immunization programme,” Kimtai said.

He said the Ministry of Health is coordinating closely with health workers and keeping them informed about measures to alleviate the current situation.

“We urge all caregivers to communicate closely with their healthcare providers and bring their children back to the facilities once stock levels have normalized.”



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