The government of Kenya on Friday 6th morning launched the vaccination exercise of the novel Coronavirus vaccine that was received in the country a few days ago.
The vaccination of the Oxford AstraZeneca that was launched by the senior ministry of health officials is now ready to be rolled out in different parts of the country at county and sub-county levels.
In order to boost the confidence of Kenyans about the safety of the vaccine, the director-general of health Dr. Patrick Amoth was the first Kenyan to have the vaccine administered to him in the full glare of cameras and journalists and other government officials.
Nine other ministry of health workers who are among the frontline workers in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic were also given the vaccine during the launching ceremony.
“It is now the time for us to give the first vaccination of the Covid-19 virus that will be given to our director-general in the ministry of health who is health worker number 001 to be followed by other health workers and then some of us will follow suit at a later stage,” said Susan Mochache the principal secretary in the ministry of health after addressing the media.
The PS who was the chief guest during the ceremony revealed that after the launch of the exercise at KNH, now the vaccine can be administered to other frontline workers across the country as stipulated in the first batch of the 1.02 million doses of the vaccine.
“After today’s exercise, the vaccine will now start being administered in all parts of the country after receiving the dispatches of the vaccine although we know as we start there will always be teething problems but nevertheless the exercise will go on as planned,” Mochache said.
She further revealed that after giving out the vaccine to the frontline workers including health workers, teachers and security personnel, then thereafter in the month of May the focus will now switch to people with the age of 50 years and above and those with underlying conditions so that they are not swept away by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mochache pointed out that Kenya is among the few African countries that have embraced the vaccine and is determined to ensure that its citizens are secured from the deadly virus.
On his part Dr. Amoth assured the health workers that the vaccine which was launched three months ago globally is safe and was well researched and tested before being released to be administered on people across the globe.
“I want to assure the health workers of the safety of the vaccine because the vaccine has undergone a rigorous and robust process before its administration and we are also learning because it is only three months since the vaccine was launched in the high-income countries,” said Dr Amoth.
The two officials further reiterated the need for the media and other stakeholders to disseminate the right information to Kenyans so that they do not sell any kind of fear pertaining to the vaccine.
On Wednesday President Kenyatta while on a visit to the vaccine storage facilities in Kitengela he also noted the need for Kenyans to be given the right information from the experts and technical people charged with the mandate of administering the vaccine other than disseminating rumors and fears to Kenyans.
The ceremony was also witnessed by representatives from international bodies including World Health Organization – WHO, UNICEF among others who emphasized on the importance of the vaccine in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.