NAIROBI, Kenya

Kenya has joined other countries in the race to secure COVID-19 vaccines, and has ordered 24 million doses from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, local media reported on Tuesday.

Patrick Amoth, the acting director of health, told The Star newspaper that each dose will cost about $3.

He said that the first to be vaccinated will be frontline health workers, followed by the vulnerable and the elderly. He did not specify a timeframe but vaccines are expected early next year.

Amoth said Gavi has signed agreements with manufacturers of about nine vaccine candidates but the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will be ideal for Kenya because it fits within its cold chain supply system.

Kenya launched clinical trials for the same antigen in October. An emergency use approval, however, is yet to be granted by the Health Ministry.

The East African country’s economy, which mainly depends on agriculture and tourism, has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

It has seen over 92,000 confirmed virus cases, with 1,593 deaths, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.

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