Vaccine Clarification

Ministry of health clarifies over variance in Covishield vaccine dose administration
The ministry of health has moved to clarify over the variance in the number of doses administered in some counties amid increased enthusiasm by Kenyans to receive the Covid-19 jab.
According to the National task force on Vaccine Deployment and Vaccinations, while each vial (container holding the vaccine doses) contains at least the number of doses stated, it is possible to withdraw additional doses depending on vial size. According to the task force, some manufacturers include some ‘overage’ or extra quantity in a vial to cater for losses when vaccines are being drawn into syringes.
“Depending on the type of syringes used, the remaining quantity in the vial may yield one or two extra doses. This has been observed during use of the Covishield® vaccine in Kenya” explains the team tasked with the national deployment and vaccination plan.
 In a statement, the taskforce says the development has also been observed in other countries conducting COVID-19 Vaccination, such as the United States of America, due to the use of low dead volume syringes. This in effect leads to a negative wastage rate where more people are vaccinated from one vial than the expected number of doses. Each Covishield® vaccine vial contains 10 doses.
According to the team, a follow up at one facility in Kenya, found that at least one extra dose could be extracted from a vial. “While the manufacturer does not assure an extra dose for every vial, the high demand of the vaccine means that these extra doses can be used to vaccinate more eligible people. In practice however, the health workers do not ‘pool’ extra doses from other vials, in order to ensure safety guidelines are adhered to” observes the taskforce.
Wastage of the vaccines according to the taskforce is therefore expected to vary from facility to facility and county to county. The country is targeting an average wastage rate of 10% or less to cater for both areas with low wastage and those with high wastage.
The taskforce however says that health workers are expected to strictly follow guidelines on use of the vaccines including the time of discard after opening during vaccination. “As such, should a half-used vial of vaccine reach the discard time, the remaining doses will be discarded and recorded as a wastage. This wastage is monitored on daily basis.” Says the taskforce.
Over 651,650 people have already received the Covishield vaccine in the country since the exercise kicked off over a month ago. Those aged above 58 years constitute the bulk of those who have received the jab with 365,178 of those within the age bracket already vaccinated.
136,084 of those vaccinated are Healthcare workers, 97,786 are teachers while 52,602 are Security Officers.
Men continue to exhibit greater enthusiasm than women in being vaccinated against Covid-19 constituting 56% of those vaccinated. Nairobi County has utilized the highest number of doses with 284,506 distributed doses with 207,926 persons already vaccinated.