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Frustrated by erratic jabs, Kenyans slam vaccine aid

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Brian Inganga/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Kenya

Kenyans receiving COVID-19 vaccines on Sunday expressed concerns over the countries dependency on donations of doses.

The East African country has administered nearly two million Covid-19 vaccine doses but all of them have been donations from multilateral agencies and richer countries.

The country has not been able to buy its own vaccines.

"We are very dependent on foreign powers which is something that has not started recently, it is something that has started ever since I can remember, and as a country I believe we can be able to manage ourselves," said Nairobi resident Jack Ochieng after getting his jab.

"It is just a matter of us knowing how to manage our resources because what if they stop? What then? What will we be able to do then?"

Kenyan officials have said that they have not been able to secure vaccine supplies because richer countries snapped up all available doses.

The UK recently sent a donation of AstraZeneca vaccines to help with Kenya's inoculation drive, which has been distributed through various pop-up vaccination sites across the country.

But residents feel that the Kenyan government needs to step up and start manufacturing the vaccines within the country to avoid being reliant on outside help.

His sentiments were shared by others, including Eliud Angaine, another Nairobi resident questioned "my request to the government is whether we can make our own vaccine here in Kenya."

Kenya has seen over 4,000 deaths related to COVID-19, while just under 2 percent of the population have been fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Africa has administered the least doses of all continents despite its big population. Activists have accused wealthy western countries of vaccine apartheid and of seeking to prolong aid dependency.

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