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Ministry rolls out plans for Covid jab

By MERCY KAHENDA | 2 months ago

 A man receives the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine jabs, at Guy's Hospital in London, Britain. [Reuters]

The Ministry of Health will not hire additional health care professionals to spearhead the planned coronavirus vaccination programme. 

Instead, the government is planning to redistribute health employees to bridge the gap.

This is according to the ministry’s National Covid-19 Deployment and Vaccination Plan, 2021.

“No additional human resources will need to be hired, besides the technical advisers at central levels,” states the draft.

In the draft plan that the Saturday Standard has a copy, the ministry admits to shortage of health professionals.

“There is disparity in health workforce distribution across counties, which is influenced by demographics, number of health care facilities and epidemiological profile of individual counties,” it says.

However, the ministry will spend Sh175.8 million on training and capacity building of health care providers.

The training, according to the ministry, will help in strengthening their knowledge on Covid-19 disease and skills in safe vaccine administration.

Further, the medics will be trained on social mobilisation, communication and waste management.

A budget of Sh295.6 million has also been allocated for advocacy, communication and community mobilisation initiative.

High-profile individuals at both county and national governments will participate in launch of the vaccination programme.

The ministry believes there will be minimal resistance in adoption of Covid-19 vaccines.

The vaccine will be rolled out in three phases, according to the ministry.

According to immunisation schedule, 9.76 million in the vulnerable group, among them, those above 60 years, will be the first to receive the jab.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe stated on January 1, 2021, that jab will be voluntary.

The vaccines available as part of Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) are Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Johnson & Johnsons, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

Kenya is projected to receive 4.1 million doses of Astrazeneca vaccine, according to an announcement by GAVI-Covax.

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