Kenya’s National Treasury has failed to allocate Sh4.5 billion ($41 million) needed for the country’s next phase of Covid-19 vaccination.
The exclusion of the amount in the Budget Statement was pointed out by the Parliament’s Budget and Appropriation committee.
The budget hitch could derail Kenya’s target to ship in 36 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines by June next year when it expects to have 16 million people inoculated.
Kenya this week received 1.02 million doses of vaccines which is enough for slightly over 500,000 people requiring two doses from eight to 12 weeks apart.
This would cover health and care-home workers, with the other top priority being teachers and security and immigration personnel.
The second phase of vaccination would involve 9.7 million people, comprising all those above 50 years old and those above 18 years old with underlying medical conditions, running between July this year and June next year.
The third phase, to unfold concurrently with the second, will be aimed at 4.9 million people, including those living in congested areas and seen as particularly vulnerable.
“There is no mention in the BPS 2021 regarding the acquisition and availability of vaccines for Covid-19 and whether it is one of government priorities in the 2021/22 and over the medium term as part of Covid-19 interventions. No resources have been provided for the acquisition of vaccines,” said the Budget Committee.
Kenya plans to offer the Covid-19 vaccine shots free of charge to its citizens, but will pay $7.70 (Sh845.50) per shot of the vaccines as negotiated under the COVAX facility.
Kenya has reported 107,329 cases of Covid-19 and 1,870 deaths, with the economy continuing to reel from pandemic-related disruptions such as fall in government’s finances, reduced economic activities and job cuts.