We have enough doses for all, ministry says ahead of mass vaccination roll out

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021 00:00 |
Kenyans of Asian origin queue to be administered the Covid-19 vaccine at the Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi recently. Photo/PD/FILE

Kenyans who are yet to get their first Covid-19 vaccination can now go for it due to the availability of enough inoculations, the Ministry of Health has affirmed.

At the same time, the Ministry disclosed that it is working on a programme that would see mass vaccination of teachers in the country in a bid to protect the lives of learners.

The chairman of the National Taskforce on Vaccine Deployment Dr Willis Akhwale said yesterday the ministry will this week announce a policy decision on administration of Covid-19 vaccines among teachers to end the anxiety that has gripped the more than 200,000 teachers in the country.

He urged Kenyans who have not yet received the jab to volunteer and get one, saying that vaccines are playing a critical role in protecting populations.

“We have enough doses in the country right now to resume registration of the first dose…We need Kenyans to know that they can now start getting their first dose, we will have a symbolic ceremony for this,” said Akhwale.

To achieve targets of vaccinating 10 million by next Christmas and the entire population of 26 million by end of next year, Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mutahi Kagwe directed that last week that all vaccination posts across the country to immediately resume administration of the first AstraZeneca dose, not just second doses as has been the case the last few weeks.

Teachers anxiety

This came as reports indicated there is anxiety among teachers, in the wake of increased cases of Covid-19.

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), Secretary General Akelo Misori yesterday said they are receiving reports from their concerned members that they still cannot get the first dose.

“There is anxiety among teachers over the upsurge on the spread of the disease. Quite a number of teachers have been gone to get the jab but they are being turned away because only the second jab is available,” Misori told the People Daily.

He also said the fact that at least 70 per cent of the teachers are not vaccinated further raises a lot of anxiety.

“Contrary to the situation at the beginning, there has been a change in attitude among teachers. We have carried out a lot of social media campaigns to convince teachers to take the vaccine,” said Misori.

“In the beginning, AstraZeneca vaccine had negative publicity but now they have changed and when more vaccines arrive, teachers uptake will increase,” he added.

However, Akhwale the Ministry is working with Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to plan for outreaches among teachers across the country to have them vaccinated.

“More vaccines are coming and we are working with TSC to plan on how to reach out to more teachers and have them vaccinated,” said Akhwale.

Last week, Kenya received 180,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine in ongoing Government’s effort to boost ongoing vaccination drive, in the wake of an upsurge in Covid-19 cases across the country.

The latest consignment, received last Friday, was a donation from the Greek government and pushed the number of vaccines received in the country to 2,323,100.

The government expects to have vaccinated at least 10 million people by the end of the year.

The first vaccination drive began on March 5 while administration of the second dose began on May 28, with the government saying that vaccination against Covid-19 is a key intervention in efforts to contain the burden of the pandemic.

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