UNFOUNDED FEARS

Rift medics shun jab while 35,000 people vaccinated

Uasin Gishu governor warns county may be put under lockdown of the rate of infections remains high

In Summary

• Many front line medics have shunned the vaccine due to fears over safety fears. Some say they will wait to monitor those already vaccinated before taking the jab.

• Catholic Bishop of Eldoret Dominic Kimengich and Uasin Gishu deputy Governor Daniel Chemno have separately urged the health workers and other Kenyans to take the vaccination.

A medic administering the Covid-19 vaccine at the Moi Referral Hospital in Eldoret on March 18.
JAB: A medic administering the Covid-19 vaccine at the Moi Referral Hospital in Eldoret on March 18.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

More than 35,000 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in North Rift, mostly teachers, security officers and the public.

Many medics on the front line have shunned the vaccine over fears of its safety. Some said they will monitor those already vaccinated before taking he jab.

Catholic Bishop of Eldoret Dominic Kimengich and Uasin Gishu Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno have separately urged the health workers and others to get the jab.

“We need the government to bring in more vaccines even as Kenyans should continue to adhere to all control protocols," the Bishop said.

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo has told health workers they must get for the jab that has been internationally certified safe.

The region received 60,000 doses, which are expected to be exhausted in two weeks.

Kimengich has supported President Kenyatta's decision to lock down five hot spot counties and ban travel in and out, as well as other measures.

Bishop Kimnegich said the measures were necessary because increasing number of Kenyans were dying from the disease and hospitals were overwhelmed.

He also urged the government to ensure more doses are imported and urged Kenyans to observe all protocols.

The region has recorded more than 2,000 new cases in the last week, with Uasin Gishu leading in the number of infections.

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago has warned the county may be placed under lockdown due to increasing cases.

The county is recording an average of 50 cases per day.

“The number of new cases in this county is very worrying and unless as we comply with control protocols to stop further spread, we may be considered for a lockdown,” Mandago said last week.

Nairobi, Machakos, Narok, Kiambu and Kajiado have been locked down.

He said the county would enforce a crackdown against individuals and institutions violating the control measures.

“We will even withdraw licences and shut down hotels or bars  working in complete disregard of Covid-19 controls," Mandago said.

He urged Kenyans, including VIPs, to surrender oxygen cylinders they are hoarding in their homes so they can be utilised by health facilities.

The Ministry of Health has expressed concern over the acute shortage of oxygen cylinders in health facilities after it emerged Kenyans had bought them for themselves.

Mandago said there is no need to hoard, as they can only help an individual who has Covid-19 and that the oxygen is administered alongside other medication.

(Edited by V. Graham)