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Covid-19 vaccination: Exercise begins in prisons

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy WINFREY OWINO | Tue,Sep 28 2021 18:16:09 EAT
By WINFREY OWINO | Tue,Sep 28 2021 18:16:09 EAT


The exercise will see at least 50, 000 inmates across 113 prisons receive the jab. [Courtesy]

Interior and Health ministries have rolled out a five-day Covid-19 vaccination for inmates to allow the reintroduction of prison visits suspended in March 2020.

The exercise targets at least 50,000 inmates in 113 correctional facilities countrywide, the Interior Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, September 28.

The announcement was made by Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiang’i (Interior) and Mutahi Kagwe (Health) when they supervised the Covid-19 vaccination of inmates at the Naivasha Maximum GK Prison.

“We have more than enough doses for this purpose. The Ministry of Health has availed (sic) more than 100,000 doses and we plan to ensure the prison population is protected, not only as a Government policy but because it is a human right,” said CS Kagwe.

According to the minister, at least 91 per cent of inmates who contracted Covid-19 have since recovered.

“Since May last year, 9,622 prisoners and staff (7,727 males; 1,895 females) have tested positive for the virus, while 32 of them (17 staff; 15 inmates) have succumbed,” said Kagwe.

The Health ministry boss assured inmates of the Government’s commitment to their welfare.

“You did not come here to die. This is a correctional facility. You are respected just like all other Kenyans, and we must protect your lives,” he said.

The Government targets to vaccinate at least 5.8 million Kenyans by October 20, 2021, CS Kagwe said.

As of last Monday, 3.6 million Kenyans had been vaccinated against Covid-19: 2.7 million received their first doses of the vaccine, while 800,000 were on their second doses. So far, only 3.3 per cent of the adult population have been vaccinated.

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