Covid-19 vaccine doses arrived in the
country over a week ago and discussions have started doing round the country
over transparency in the issuance exercise.
There has been claims that leaders
and elite members of the public can be given priority over ‘common mwananch’, a
fact that government spokesman Cyrus Oguna has dismissed.
Speaking with a local TV station
(KTN) on Wednesday, Oguna said the state has put mechanisms in place to ensure
the over one million vaccination doses are administered to all target groups.
“I want to assure members of the
public that mechanisms have been put in place to ensure the vaccines gets to
the targeted group. No one even the elite will jump the queue. So far 20
counties have already received the vaccines and the government is working round
the clock to see the remaining counties get their share,” said Oguna.
The first phase of vaccination of the
AstraZeneca vaccines is set to run till the end of June with the target group
being health care workers, security personnel and teachers.
“We shall embark on the second
phase in early July targeting any leftovers in the first phase then peg in
those with comorbidities and other existing ailments,” said the spokesman.
Close to half a million people are
targeted in the first phase of the vaccine administration.
Speaking on the viability of the
vaccine, Ouguna said, “We are dealing with a very new pandemic because
there is not much information on the table. This vaccine is also new and meant
to manage this new disease therefore, it is human for people to react in that
manner, but we shall ensure they get the right information”.
He said that the government has laid
down plans to educate the public with proper information about the vaccine.
Oguna further noted that the
government has further embarked on a plan to secure more vaccines beyond
“Kenya was among the first East
African state to receive the dosses because based on realities in countries, we
have been working to ensure mechanisms are in place in record time. Therefore,
we shall stop at no amount of effort to ensure the well-being of Kenyans is
taken care of,” he said.
The government is taking shoulder of
all the expenses of bringing in the vaccines and intends to conduct three
phases of vaccination covering 40 per cent of the population for the next one
and half years.
“We are mobilizing resources and
whatever is brought in is free and no one should be charged for them to get the
vaccine,” Oguna said.
Ouguna said the vaccine has no side effects,
adding that, “There are many who might be reluctant to take the vaccine
having been victims. I am one of the survivors, I recovered and have been
vaccinated. Most people don’t understand what it feels to be infected and for
sure many get in the ICU and never get out,” he said.
He however warned Kenyans to continue
following the set guidelines by the ministry of health as the country is not yet
out of the woods.
“Vaccine is not a silver bullet
to the pandemic but one of the measures to limit infection and reduce the
severity. You can still be infected after vaccination and thus why we focus to
vaccinate the critical mass so that we can build a hard immunity going
forward,” he said.
As at yesterday, 479 more people tested
positive for the virus from a sample size of 4,043 tests conducted, a data that
brings the country’s case load to 109,643 representing a positivity rate of
11.8 per cent.