My experience after receiving Covid-19 jab
Last Friday I got injected with the Oxford Astrazeneca Covid-19 vaccine at the Mount Elgon Hospital in Trans Nzoia County.
I've had minor side effects including my arm which became sore after I received my shot.
Since then, I've been monitoring myself for any Covid-like symptoms and despite the skyrocketing number of suggestions that the jab causes blood clots, I have not gotten sick.
Kitale County referral hospital medical superintended Dr Sammy Masibo whom I went to for consultations after the jab told me vaccines only work when they become vaccinations in a wide swath of the population – representing people of all walks of life.
"The vaccine’s coverage may be high among residents in some countries like Denmark where it is being reported that the vaccine has had far reaching implications but here in Kenya and other African countries things could be different with blacks being hesitant to trust something like AstraZenecca being injected into their arms," he said.
As a seasoned journalist, I spend a lot of time talking to doctors about the virus and analyzing data before I made a decision to receive a jab which had already been given to Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba , area county commissioner Sam Ojwang and Police Commander Fredrick Ochieng.
The Oxford AstraZeneca I received left me completely devastated after going through the process. I did tell off my many other colleagues who had earlier voiced opposition to the jab on the safety of the jab with some suggesting that the government should inject more cash in research.
I'm very sure that the stringent measures recently announced by the President, if put into force, will drastically reduce the rise in virus that has been running rampant across the country.
"The more Covid positive cases we have, the faster the trial is going to go because now we have more patients to compare to see how many are in the placebo group versus how many are in the vaccine group," Dr. Masibo said during a one on one interview.
Dr Masibo said the vaccine which had been approved by the world Health Organization WHO was tested and has shown to generate an immune response among all recipients with minimal side effects.
My only worry now is the second dose of the AstraZeneca Vaccine whose availability looks uncertain after some Countries including Denmark moved to ban the drug whose jab im expecting to boost my immunity after the first one.
A dollar million question lingering in my mind is whether the Oxford AstraZeneca which produced the vaccine will be able to ship other millions of doses to Kenya to enable those who have received the first dose to get their second doses.
My other concern is whether the company can in future develop just a one shot instead of the two doses as it is currently.
Despite numerous opposition to the vaccine from those who say it is unsafe, I feel quite proud of myself for taking the jab which looks small but is going to safe millions of Kenyans from the scourge.
Back at the Mount Elgon Hospital where I received the jab, a nurse practitioner who administered the jab on me told me not to worry despite a few side effects she said were minimal.
"I have been vaccinated with this jab that I'm going to administer in your body and so you don’t have to fear. I don't feel anything you hear people talk about in the streets," she told me as she prepped my left arm in the glare of cameras from my Journalist colleagues from several media houses who later on got vaccinated after me.
I indeed feel good now after getting the jab despite nusea, headache , irritation and some bit of diarrhea which has stopped after I took the Ascard-75 which was recommended by a friend who is a doctor at the Kitale County Referral Hospital.
I asked the nurse about the people who were afraid of receiving the jab by the time she she had encountered them and how she may have convinced them to accept the jab.
"We haven't hit phase two of of these vaccines yet so it's true, we don't know the long-term effects of anything," she said while diligently focused on my veins. "We don't know what happens when you get Covid four years later either."
The truth of the matter is that despite the fears over the safety of the vaccines, we do know now that so many Kenyans are dead because of this coronavirus and so we must do all we can to protect one another against getting it.
The writer is People Daily correspondent based in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County