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Government warns of disease outbreaks following nationwide vaccination halt

Kenyans have been warned of possible disease outbreaks after the government announced a halt to vaccinations in hospitals nationwide.

The Ministry of Health in a statement indicated that although the majority Vaccine stocks had already been exhausted, the remaining stock could only last two to three months.

Critical vaccines whose stocks have been depleted include Calmette-Guérin bacillus (BCG), Oral Polio and Measles-Rubella.

Meanwhile, stock levels of common childhood vaccines, such as pneumococcal, rotavirus, HPV and malaria, could only last three months.

A nurse administering a vaccine to a baby at a hospital in Nairobi on April 16, 2021.

Photo

UNICEF Kenya

According to the Ministry of Health, shortages could plunge the country into the risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases and cause possible outbreaks.

However, the Ministry noted that it had implemented strict measures to ensure a continuous supply of vaccines to all hospitals in the country.

“Recognizing that immunization is one of the most effective public health interventions, we are committed to ensuring a constant and uninterrupted supply of vaccines,” the Ministry announced.

“Kenya has benefited from a strong immunization system for more than 44 years and we are dedicated to ensuring that future generations enjoy full and healthy lives.”

The ministry said it had begun facilitating redistribution between counties as part of measures to curb the cut.

“The National Vaccine and Immunization Program (NVIP) is redistributing the current stock of routine vaccines available across the country to ensure that eligible children do not miss out on vaccinations,” the Ministry of Health said.

Sh1.2 billion has also been set aside to urgently procure routine antigens and replenish vaccines in all hospitals.

According to the Ministry of Health, the New stock of vaccines will arrive in the country for the first week of June 2024.

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

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha during a Ministry event on March 5, 2024.

Photo

medical officer

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