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Medics in six counties get first dose of vaccine

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy MERCY KAHENDA | 1 month ago
By MERCY KAHENDA | 1 month ago

 

Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital (PGH) Obstetrician Adelide Barasa receives the Covid-19 jab at the facility yesterday. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Front-line workers began to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in six counties amid increased infections across the country.

With the first batch of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine targeting front-line workers in the health, security, and teaching sectors, medics from public hospitals lined up to receive their first dose in Nakuru, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Machakos, Meru, and Vihiga counties.

This is in line with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation made on December 20, 2020, that health care personnel and long-term care facility residents be offered Covid-19 vaccination first.

Acting Director-General Health, Dr Patrick Amoth was among the first people to receive the jab, after it was rolled out on Friday last week, at Kenyatta National Hospital. 

Statistics released by the Government last Sunday showed that 465 people were infected with the virus-with a positivity rate of 8.1 per cent.

Total accumulated cases in the country stood at 108,827 by last Sunday- with the total death toll at 1,876 since the pandemic struck one year ago.

The country received 1.02 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on Tuesday last week.

The 1.02 million doses are among the first batch of the 4.1million doses out of the 24 million expected doses.

In Nakuru County that has recorded a positivity rate of 9.3 per cent that translates to 4, 961 infections and 102 deaths, the vaccination of frontline workers started yesterday at the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital (PGH).

The County Chief Nursing Officer, Virginia Njenga, said vaccination of the Oxford/AstraZeneca exercise kicked off smoothly as they plan to vaccinate about 11,000 people.

The target population in the first batch of 30,000 doses received includes health workers across all cadres, security guards, cleaners, and cooks.

“Employees working in hospitals have turned out in large numbers to receive the jab. We are also providing the jab to people working in private hospitals,” said Ms Njenga.

Nakuru received a total of 30,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and out of this, 3,000 doses will be supplied to Lanet Regional Military Hospital.

Ms Njenga said the county is anticipating injecting 500 employees by end of the week.

According to the vaccination schedule, counties in the South Rift region are approximated to vaccinate about 30,000 people in the first one week.

Nakuru depot, located at Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) received a total of 57,000 doses of vaccines for dispatch to all county referral facilities in the five counties.

The Nakuru regional vaccine store has a capacity of net refrigeration of 20,000 litres and a net freezing volume of 1, 355 litres.

The Standard established that self-reporting and self-consent are used to administer the jab in Vihiga County.

The county vaccines and immunisation coordinator Ms Edith Anjere said the exercise commenced yesterday at Vihiga County Referral Hospital.

The target groups, she said include police officers, health professionals, nonmedical staff, and religious people. Training, she said is ongoing to address hesitancy in its uptake.

“Nobody has reported any side effects after receiving the vaccine and we are also not forcing anybody to come for it,” she said.

Vaccination in Kiambu County began yesterday at Thika Level Five and Kiambu Level Five Hospitals.

County health executive Dr Joseph Murega said at least 6,000 healthcare personnel in both private and public hospitals are targeted. The county received a total of 13,500 doses.

Kiambu Chief Officer in charge of health Patrick Nyaga was the first person and medic in the county to get the dose at Thika Level Five hospital followed by other senior healthcare county officials.

Murega warned against the commercialisation of the vaccine insisting that no one, should be charged to receive it.

The official asked locals to observe Covid-19 containment measures as cases continue to rise. 

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