No COVID-19 vaccination for children, Kenyan government says

Chief Administrative Secretary In the Ministry Of Health Dr Mercy Mwangangi. [Photo Nation]

Children will not receive the much-awaited COVID-19 vaccine, the Ministry of Health has said.

Chief Administrative Secretary in the ministry Dr Mercy Mwangangi on Wednesday said that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines did not have clinical trials on children.

This, she said, only makes adults eligible for the vaccine.

She added that upon the arrival of UK’s Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine which Kenyan ordered 24 million doses, children will not be in the first phase of vaccination.

Dr Mwangangi explained that children are not among “the vulnerable” who have been lined up to receive the vaccine as soon as it arrives.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe had earlier said that teachers, police officers, health workers and persons aged above 50 years would be among the first to receive the vaccine.

Kagwe on Wednesday added that the first batch of the 24 million doses of the vaccine ordered from the UK will arrive in the country in February.

He insisted that the administration of the vaccine will be voluntary.

This comes as Kenya recorded 271 new COVID-19 cases bringing the total cases to 97,398.

A total of 5,830 samples were tested. The cumulative tests conducted so far is 1,070,249.

Out of the positive cases, 143 are male and 128 are female. The youngest case is a one-year-old infant and the oldest is aged 68 years. 261 are Kenyans while 10 are foreigners.

Another 609 patients recovered from the virus raising the recovery tally to 79,966.

Of the new recoveries, 502 were discharged from home-based care program and 107 from various hospitals around the country.

Sadly, four patients succumbed to the disease bringing the death toll to 1,694.