COVID-19: UK to give Kenya more than 800,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

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The UK will give Kenya 817,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, the government has announced.

Ministers said the offer would help the nation - which has a population of around 52 million - to combat the COVID pandemic, with the first 400,000 doses due to be sent this week.

There have been growing concerns that supply shortages in some African countries have held back the continuing rollout of their vaccination programmes.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said a total of nine million Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines will be sent to countries around the globe from Friday.

The doses are being shared bilaterally and through COVAX - an initiative to distribute jabs worldwide.

The UK has committed to share 100 million doses internationally by June 2022.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to meet Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta at Chequers this afternoon ahead of the two leaders hosting the Global Education Summit in London on Thursday.

The PM and Mr Kenyatta will hold talks on issues including trade, defence, development and the global fight against COVID-19, the government said.

The leaders will also plant a tree at the PM's official country residence to mark the ambition to grow the partnership between the two nations and to tackle climate change together ahead of COP26.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, the PM said the UK is sharing vaccine doses with Kenya to support the country's fight against the pandemic.

"The UK and Kenya share a long and rich history, but this is a relationship that is focused on the future," Mr Johnson said.

"As friends and allies, we are sharing UK vaccine doses to support Kenya's fight against the pandemic.

"From boosting economic growth to addressing climate change and getting girls into school, the UK and Kenya are working hand-in-hand to deliver a more secure and prosperous world.

"I look forward to welcoming President Kenyatta today to drive that agenda forward, and to joining forces tomorrow to raise vital funds at the Global Education Summit in London."

Speaking at a visit to an AstraZeneca manufacturing site in Oxford, the foreign secretary said the first nine million doses, which will begin to be despatched from Friday will be going " to countries from vulnerable countries in the Indo-Pacific, such as Laos, Cambodia, key partners like Indonesia, right the way through the Commonwealth countries from Kenya to Jamaica".

"I think what it shows is that, as well as the domestic rollout and the importance of coming out of the lockdowns in the UK, is that global Britain is also a lifesaving force for good in the world," Mr Raab said.

The government said the UK and Kenya are also working together to boost investment and business links between the two countries.

Mr Kenyatta is also due to meet with Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Thursday.

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