Most Kenyans have faith in Covid vaccine, shows survey
Noven Owiti and Evans Nyakundi
A majority of Kenyans have expressed confidence that Covid-19 vaccine will be a success in containing the deadly virus, a new survey has established.
According to findings by Tifa, 54 per cent of Kenyans have full confidence that the vaccine will be safe and effective.
In a report released yesterday, North Eastern region recorded the least confidence at 45 per cent.
Nyanza, Rift Valley and Western top the regions registering high confidence regarding the coronavirus vaccine at 55 per cent each.
On the response to having Covid-19 vaccination, 11 per cent of Kenyans said they would not consider having it even if it is to be administered for free.
Another 47 per cent of respondents indicated they were willing to be vaccinated, but only after seeing its side effects on the first lot of people vaccinated.
Another four per cent of Kenyans indicated willingness to be vaccinated but would be cautious to first assess the side effects of the vaccine.
On the contrary, 41 per cent said they would be willing to be among the first people to go for the vaccine.
“The Covid-19 vaccine complete acceptability level is high at 41 per cent. However, a considerable proportion of Kenyans would adopt a wait and see approach to monitor the side effects,” the report.
“This shows a key obstacle in reaching the goal of population immunity is vaccine hesitancy,” report adds.
In the survey conducted between December 8 and 19, at least 63 per cent of Kenyans are concerned about contracting Covid-19, with women showing more concern than men.
The study placed Nairobi and Nyanza as regions that expressed highest levels of concern at 65 and 69 per cent respectively.
In terms of personal knowledge about the number of positive cases and related deaths, 36 per cent of the respondents said they knew at least a person who had been infected while 32 per cent indicated they were aware of someone who has died from Covid-19.
“As Covid-19 cases continue to rise, six out of 10 Kenyans are worried of contracting the virus.
The concerns vary by age with the elderly showing more concern. In addition, the concern is higher among those who personally know someone who has been infected,” the report.
Survey findings showed a majority of Kenyans are partaking something to boost their immunity and help reduce risk of contracting Covid-19, with a mixture of hot water and lemon being the favourite.
According to Tifa, the study was taken from a sample of 1,550 respondents.
Elsewhere, Nyamira residents have been urged to observe coronavirus protocols during the burial of the late Nyamira County Governor John Nyagarama.
Nyamira County Commissioner Amos Mariba, while briefing the media on the funeral arrangements yesterday, appealed to those who will attend the burial to take extra precaution.
“We shall strictly allow 2,000 people only at Nyamira Primary School grounds where the funeral service will take place today and tomorrow.
The county has been recording high Covid-19 cases by the day, as we have recorded more than 300 cases for the past three months, a clear indication that we should be more cautious in observing the health regulations in regard to Coronavirus, ” the commissioner revealed.
He said those who fail to wear mask risk arrest and will not be allowed to access the funeral grounds, both in Nyamira and Riamanoti grounds.
He urged other Kenyans to follow the funeral proceedings through a live coverage on local TV station on Thursday.
The County Chief Officer of health Dr Jack Magara confirmed that they have put in place all the necessary measures in regard to Covid-19, to ensure mourners’ safety.
“We have instilled sufficient hand washing points to ensure people are adequately sanitised, thermo guns to measure temperatures, provided fully equipped ambulances with standby first aiders to attend to any health emergencies,” Dr Jack confirmed.
The Chief Officer further said they have advised that only water will be served to guests at the funeral grounds because managing crowds when serving them food will likely compromise adhering to regulations of social distance and wearing of masks.