WENDO: Laxity in Covid-19 vaccine uptake

Crackdown on public gatherings at entertainment joints, funerals should be reinforced

In Summary

• Let the government through the tasked multi-agencies double their efforts in addressing the aforementioned concerns through information, communication and education awareness.

• The continued political public gatherings are a time-bomb in waiting; a majority of the masses attending political rallies is a “dejected lot” with less concern of neither getting the vaccine nor adhering to the safety measures.

A vaccination exercise by the Nairobi Metropolitan Service targetting matatu operators at the Central Bus Station on September 17, 2021.
A vaccination exercise by the Nairobi Metropolitan Service targetting matatu operators at the Central Bus Station on September 17, 2021.
Image: MERCY MUMO

There is a call for the Government to uplift the current Covid-19 safety and containment measures as far as guarding the spread of the virus is concerned.

The situation is still vulnerable; despite the positivity rate dropping to about 4.6 per cent.

Fatalities have risen to above 5,000 with over 900 patients admitted in various health facilities countrywide, while over 2,000 being under the home-based isolation and care program.

The statistics could be more practical.

The global Covid deaths have hit five million with an average of 8,000 deaths being reported daily across the world over the last few weeks.

The mode of virus transmission is largely by the movement of people; it has been mutative and asymptomatic in nature ever since the first variant was reported in Kenya in March 2020.

We have the delta variant that is more transmissible with features that allow it to evade some of the body’s immune system; the Colombian variant too has emerged.

The Covid-19 virus has a strenuous impact on the respiratory system.

The latest report from the civil registration services (CRS) under the Ministry of Interior and national coordination indicates Pneumonia which is a respiratory infection as the top killer in the year 2020 in Kenya.

The World Health Organization in its latest report indicates the mortality rates in Africa have spiked from 30 per cent to 40 per cent as a result of the fast-spreading Covid-19 delta variant, slow rate of vaccination rollout and relaxation of safety measures.

The report further stresses that "only a complete dose of the Covid-19 vaccine can protect against this dangerous variant”

The selective number of side-effect cases on those vaccinated has been reported mostly in those with underlying medical conditions; challenges of fake vaccines on the market; non-scientific myths surrounding the vaccine have been cited.

Let the government through the tasked multi-agencies double their efforts in addressing the aforementioned concerns through information, communication and education awareness.

The crackdown on public gatherings at entertainment joints, funerals and weddings should be reinforced to be in adherence with the set protocols.

The country remains in a “catch twenty-two” situation as campaigns gain momentum for the next general elections; the political class needs to be very well aware of the effects covid- 19 has impacted on the citizens, front-line service providers, medical infrastructure and the economy at large.

The continued political public gatherings are a time- bomb in waiting; a majority of the masses attending political rallies is a “dejected lot” with less concern of neither getting the vaccine nor adhering to the safety measures.

Let us tread carefully not to reach situations where the next general elections might have to be postponed as a result of another Covid-19 wave or massive escalations.

As normalcy returns; let us upscale the guard against the spread of the virus “by- ourselves”.

The efforts by the Ministry of Health in curbing the pandemic are commendable in acquiring and rolling out the vaccination process.

The fight against the pandemic calls for collective responsibility as researchers work around the clock to address emerging vaccine concerns as well as getting the vaccine for the younger children.

To Kenyans of goodwill; the buck stops at us; let us en masse get vaccinated; shun short-cuts of faking covid-19 clearance certificates; avoid bribing the medics and morgue attendants into arm twisting medical reports on real causes of deaths for the mutual benefit of our families, society and the nation.

Dennis Wendo is Founder- Integrated Development Network

Email: [email protected]