Denmark Makes AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Donation to Kenya


Kenya received 358,700 AstraZeneca vaccines to boost its second-dose round of Covid-19 inoculations that was threatened by a shortage when India halted exports of Covishield, the brand mostly used in African nations through the Covax initiative.

The batch is the first bilateral vaccine donation by Denmark, the nation’s ambassador, Ole Thonke, said late Monday in comments televised on Nairobi-based broadcasters. Kenya requested the vaccines a month ago and Denmark agreed to the donation because the African country has the capacity to dispense them before their expiry at the end of July, he said.

In April, Denmark dropped AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine from its inoculation program amid concerns over serious side effects.

Last year, Kenya received 1.02 million AstraZeneca doses from Covax, and another 100,000 through a donation from India. This year, it got 72,000 shots from the facility after they were returned by South Sudan, which was running out of time to administer them.

The East African nation had inoculated 1,187,663 people by Monday, and 192,093 people have received a second shot, according to Ministry of Health data. Only about 0.7% of its adults are fully vaccinated. To date, authorities have confirmed 179,293 coronavirus infections and 3,461 deaths from the pandemic.

“We have used up all the vaccines, we only have 5,000 vaccines remaining and we are very sure those are going to be used in the next coming days. Had we not received this donation today, we would not be having vaccines in the coming weeks,” Susan Mochache, principal secretary in the Ministry of Health, said in comments broadcast by NTV.

In coming weeks, Kenya will receive about 180,000 vaccines from Covax and the nation is among a group of countries chosen to get some vials from the U.S. In addition, it’s in the process of procuring 10 million Johnson & Johnson shots, that it expects will arrive in the nation in August, Mochache said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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