REPUBLIC OF KENYA

Government accelerates Covid-19 vaccination

      

The Ministry of Health (MoH) Wednesday stepped up COVID-19 vaccination with the roll out of a National accelerated vaccination campaign.  The campaign dubbed, ‘’Kuwa shujaa pata chanjo tufungue nchi’’ targets to have 10 million vaccinations in the next three months, with a mid-term target of 5.8 million vaccinations by mashujaa day celebrations on 20th of October.   Health Cabinet Secretary Senator Mutahi Kagwe while launching the campaign in Kiambu County, that coincided with the launch of mobile vaccination outreaches in counties, urged county governments to work with the Ministry of Health to increase vaccination coverage.  “We are appealing to other county governments to do exactly the same, let us mobilize the vehicles that we have for other purposes so that we can reach the unreached as far as vaccination is concerned’’. Said CS Kagwe.

Additionally, CS Kagwe in thanking the global community for continued support in vaccine supplies, observed continued inequality in access of vaccines especially within the African continent.  “Let us make sure that we create a world where we are safe as a globe and the only way we are going to be safe is when everyone is safe so that we can all be safe” observed the CS.  “We are appealing to the world community to stop vaccine apartheid, where some countries are vaccinating even children while sections of the world have not yet started vaccinating adults. Yet, when you look at the evidence and science in front of our eyes we do not see the necessity in intensifying children vaccinations.” Emphasized the Cabinet Secretary.

His sentiments were echoed by UNICEF Country Director Maniza Zaman who urged the global community to unite and ensure equity in access of COVID-19 vaccines. “International solidary during this time is critical it is important to work towards vaccine equity; we must balance the equation’’. Urged Zaman. Rockefeller foundation while commending ongoing efforts by the government in COVID-19 response pledged to continue supporting efforts to end the pandemic.  “The Rockefeller foundation stands with the National and County Governments; we continue to work with the Ministry on matters around communication, logistics and equitable vaccine distribution” said William Asiko, the Managing Director for Rockefeller Africa office.

Kiambu Governor James Nyoro, speaking at the event, thanked Health Care Workers (HCW) and Community Health Volunteers (CHV) for their contribution in the COVID 19 response terming them key implementers in vaccine deployment.

The Governor also cautioned Kiambu residents against laxity in observing preventive protocols which he said could lead to a new wave of infections.  “Over 256,000 people have been vaccinated in Kiambu so far which is only 18% of the national average.” Said the governor urging the residents to continue wearing masks, social distance and observe hand hygiene.

Additionally, Governor Nyoro, revealed plans by the county government to accelerate mobile outreaches by vaccinating persons in markets and churches in an effort to fast track full re-opening of the economy as has been seen in other countries across the world.

The Ministry of health is targeting to administer 2.1 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the next three weeks, to meet the 5.8 million target by Mashujaa day. Phase II of the vaccination plan prioritizes persons aged 50 and above, frontline workers not reached in the 1st phase, individuals in the hospitality and transport sector, persons with disabilities, individuals aged above 18 with chronic illnesses as well as persons in congregate settings such as prisons, care homes and refugee camps.