Kenya’s Acting Director-General of Health Dr. Patrick Amoth kicked off the country’s COVID-19 vaccination effort by rolling up his sleeve and becoming the first person to be inoculated.
Dr. Patrick Amoth and several others received shots at Kenyatta National Hospital(KNH) in Nairobi on Friday.
Dr. Amoth assured Kenyans that the vaccine is safe and free for all.
“We will offer ourselves to be vaccinated today (Friday). Let us portray the correct message to the public,” he said.
KNH Chief Executive Officer Dr. Evanson Kamuri was the second person to be vaccinated, followed by a nurse at the hospital and Dr. Collins Tabu (head of immunization and vaccine in the Health Ministry).
All those who are vaccinated were directed to sign a consent note and after the vaccination, rest for 30 minutes before being discharged.
According to Health Principal secretary, Susan Mochache the vaccination exercise will begin in all county referral hospitals after the launch at KNH.
She said the ministry is employing a data management registry to enable traceability and provide required reports.
“It is our responsibility to ensure all the health care workers get support. This may mark the beginning of the end of the pandemic” she said.
WHO Representative in Kenya Rudi Eggers said there will be no cost to Kenyans for the AstraZeneca vaccine
According to Eggers, the vaccine is a game-changer but after vaccination, there is still a need to continue wearing masks, washing hands, and ensuring social distancing.
“With the vaccine arrival, we are on the road to full recovery from the pandemic,” Dr. Eggers said.
Amref Group Chief Executive Officer Dr. Githinji Gitahi reiterated that this is not the first vaccine that Kenya is administering.
He noted that the Kenyan government has committed that no Kenyan will be left behind adding that data collection and management of whoever receives the vaccine is key.
The vaccines were procured by UNICEF under the COVAX facility, which is co-led by Gavi (a public-private global health partnership); World Health Organization (WHO), and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
On Thursday, President Uhuru Kenyatta flagged off trucks carrying vaccines to be distributed in health facilities across the country.
Source: Kenya local media agencies