LEADER

EDITORIAL: Vaccinate all Kenyans above 60 years now

The vaccination rates among older people in villages is rather disappointing

In Summary

• While the promise of vaccinating ten million Kenyans is good, there is no assurance this will happen.

• The government should ensure all Kenyans above 60 years, everywhere get the jab. The younger people can wait until we have enough for them.  

Abigail Owilla, a nurse administers covid-19 vaccine jab to a health worker at Mutuini Hospital, Dagoreti on March 9, 2021.
Abigail Owilla, a nurse administers covid-19 vaccine jab to a health worker at Mutuini Hospital, Dagoreti on March 9, 2021.
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

The ongoing fourth wave of Covid-19 driven by the Delta variant has now surpassed the second wave peak of November 2020.

According to experts, with the ongoing high positivity rate — which stood at 14.8 per cent on Saturday — the fourth wave will soon surpass above the third wave of March 2021.

Understandably, the government plans to vaccinate at least 10 million people by December.

However, this projection is based on promises by donors to donate vaccines to Kenya.

Similar past projections have not been met because of constrained supply and failure by donors to honor their promises.

With limited supply, the government must carefully prioritise the key populations. The Ministry of Health data shows although most Covid-19 infections are among young people below 45 years, most deaths are among those above 60 years.

The vaccination rates among older people outside urban areas is rather disappointing, yet this is where most deaths are happening.

The government has done little to improve vaccine uptake in these areas, where misinformation about the same is rampant.

While the promise of vaccinating 10 million Kenyans is good, there is no assurance this will happen.

The government should ensure all Kenyans above 60 years, everywhere get the jab. 

More centres should be opened up in order to make it easy for those targeted get the vaccine.