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Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19 Vaccination in Kenya.


This section provides latest information and responses to questions from the public on COVID-19 vaccination in Kenya. The answers are aimed at providing the public with accurate, reliable and timely information on the ongoing COVID-19 Vaccination in Kenya. This document is regularly updated to reflect new developments and emerging issues.

For more information, call the Ministry’s COVID-19 hotline number on 719.

What does COVID-19 stand for?

COVID-19 stands for Coronavirus disease of 2019.

It is the official name given by the World Health Organization (WHO) to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2.

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2 is a new coronavirus not previously seen in humans. This means it is different from the coronaviruses that cause the common cold and those that caused SARS in 2002 and MERS in 2012.

The first cases of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2 were reported in December 2019.

WHO officially named the disease COVID-19 in a press release issued on 11th February 2020.

Is COVID-19 the same as the common cold?

No. COVID-19 and common cold are not the same. COVID-19 is caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2 not previously seen in humans. Colds and flus are caused by different types of viruses common to humans. Unlike the flu, COVID-19 can sometimes cause a person to suddenly lose their sense of smell or taste.

The number of those who are likely to be severely ill or die as a result of contracting COVID-19 is up to 10 times higher for COVID-19 than for the common cold or flu.

Why is COVID-19 considered a pandemic?

On 11th March, 2020, the WHO officially classified COVID19 as a pandemic.

A pandemic is the worldwide outbreak of a disease that quickly spreads across different countries and continents. The WHO made the decision to classify COVID-19 as a pandemic based on the following factors:

  • Within a period of just two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China had increased 13-fold.
  • The number of affected countries had tripled.
  • There were more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries.
  • 4,291 people had lost their lives.
  • Thousands more were admitted in hospitals.

COVID-19 is the first coronavirus to be classified as a pandemic. This is due to its high case fatality rate and rapid spread of the disease.

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