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Sports CS Amina: Over 4000 athletes, officials vaccinated ahead of Tokyo games

ATHLETICS By Odero Charles | April 19th 2021
President Uhuru Kenyatta chat with Sports counterpart Amina Mohamed (Left) as her Tourism CS Najib Balala looks on after the conclusion of the Magical Kenya Open 2021 Tournament at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi on March 21, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

So far over 4,000 athletes and officials have received the Covid-19 jab since the vaccination program for Kenyan athletes began, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, culture and heritage Amina Mohamed said on Monday.

The vaccinations started at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, two weeks after President Uhuru Kenyatta suspended all sporting activities in the country as part of efforts to control the spread of COVID-19.

“As the mass vaccination exercise for the first dose comes to an end today,  I am pleased to report that we have so far vaccinated 4,255 of the target population who reside in Nairobi county,” CS Amina said in a press statement.

 “Further, another 200 based in other Counties outside Nairobi City have also been vaccinated. We plan to continue with the vaccination exercise in consultation with the Ministry of  Health to cover any athlete or athlete handler set for national assignments who may have been left out due to factors beyond their control.“

According to the Ministry of Sports, priority had been given to teams participating in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, all personnel working on the WRC/FIA Safari Rally Kenya, World Athletics under 20 Championships, World Athletics Continental Tour and the Rugby Barthes Cup.

“On 8th April, we rolled out an extensive vaccination exercise targeting all our national Teams with specific priority to Teams participating in the  Tokyo 2020  Olympic and Paralympic Games, “ added the statement.

“All personnel working on the WRC/ FIA  Safari Rally Kenya,  World Athletics Under  20 Championships, World Athletics Continental Tour, the Rugby Barthes  Cup,  all Sports SAGAS,  specifically Sports  Kenya, the Kenya  Academy of  Sports, AntiDoping Agency of Kenya, Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund and all Ministry of Sports frontline staffers.

Coach Wheelchair athletics Eunice Otieno is being vaccinated Enid Kanywa (left) after the launch by CS Sports Amina Mohamed (right) at the start of Intensive National Vaccination Exercise of Kenyan athletes at Kasarani Stadium[ [Jonah Onyango, Standard]]

 “I wish to sincerely thank my colleagues Hon. Mutahi Kagwe, Cabinet Secretary  for Health and  General  Mohammed Badi, Director General, Nairobi Metropolitan Services and the County Governments  of Uasin Gishu  and  Elgeyo Marakwet  for facilitating this exercise which will pave way for our teams to safely compete in international events with the full protection of the vaccine.

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“Further,  I  thank the health workers who undertook this exercise in an  extremely professional, passionate and meticulous manner. “

The Sports CS further thanked athletes who presented themselves for the vaccination exercise urging them to remain vigilant and continues to operate within the COVID-19 containment measures as stipulated by President Uhuru Kenyatta and guided by the Ministry of Health Protocols.

 “I  also wish to appreciate athletes and all who presented themselves for the vaccination exercise. Your cooperation and discipline towards this exercise has been excellent. Finally, I urge you all to continue observing all the protocols laid out by the Ministry of Health. Issued at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani, Nairobi on 16th April 2021,” she said.

The Government’s target is to inoculate 3,500 athletes, coaches, officials and athlete handlers.

The ministry of sports hopes to take a team of 100 athletes to the rescheduled Tokyo games which will be held between July 23 and August 8.

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