Kagwe blasts insurance companies offering cover for vaccination effects

Friday, August 13th, 2021 00:00 |
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the press at Afya House in Nairobi. Photo/PD/ALEX MBURU

 The government has  threatened to deregister insurance companies putting up adverts offering cover for adverse effects arising from Covid-19 vaccination.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the advertisements were not only misleading but intended to take advantage of people’s fears and uncertainties brought about by the pandemic.

“The post is reported as stating that ‘Vaccination will help stop the pandemic, get covered against the adverse side effects of the Covid-19 Vaccine.’

Not only is this advert unethical, it denotes and suggests that vaccines are unsafe and need underwriting,” Kagwe said in a statement.

He said the Ministry of Health has been conducting Covid-19 vaccination since March as an  additional measure to fight the pandemic that has resulted in the loss of many lives and livelihoods. 

Kenya is targeting to vaccinate the entire adult population by December next year.

“All vaccines deployed for Covid-19 vaccination in Kenya have received both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board Emergency Use Listing. These vaccines have been evaluated and found to be safe for use to combat the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Kagwe.

The CS said that since Kenya began  vaccination with the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine,  close to two million doses have been administered.

He said the vaccines are safe despite the mild side effects which include headache, nausea and fever. 

“These side effects are common to other vaccines as well. The Ministry of Health has also put in place additional safety monitoring programmes through the Pharmacy and Poisons Board,” said Kagwe. 

He added: “The Ministry of Health wishes to state that insurance against side effects is not only unnecessary but unethical.

No company should claim to provide insurance services against vaccine side effects or side effects of any medicine.”

The online advertisement by AAR Insurance offering insurance cover against possible Covid-19 vaccine side effects was immediately met by criticism from Kenyans. 

Instagram followers of AMREF Africa Health Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Githinji Gitahi poured vitriol over the advertisement terming it absurd and sheer greed.

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