Gov’t alarmed by low vaccine uptake in North Eastern
The government has raised alarm on the low vaccine uptake in North Eastern parts of the country.
According to the Ministry of Health, the trend continues to pose a challenge to a government that is seeking to vaccinate 10 million people by the end of 2021.
The ministry of health says if at all they are to ensure that the pastoralist communities are vaccinated, then the use of johnson and johnson vaccine would be the most ideal one.
As the rest of the country rushes to get a jab of the COVID-19 vaccine,the Northern Frontier appears to be prioritising other things as a majority of its population is yet to get vaccinated.
Garissa county has only 6,829 persons vaccinated against the COVID-19 disease, a representation of just 1.7%.
“Nilikuwa nimedungwa sindano ya kwanza nangoja ya pili nataka nimefurahia sana,” Abdiaziz Mohammed, resident of Garissa told Citizen TV.
However, a majority of those residing there are unvaccinated.
“Hio vaccine mimi sijachukua bado, naskia watu wanakuwa na blood clot na nini, I do not see the chance of risking my life,” Hussein Ahmed, a resident of Garissa said on Friday during an interview with Citizen TV.
According to the County Executive Committee Member for Health in the county, the safety question is one that they are striving to change.
“Pia wale wamechukua chanjo hao ndo tunatumia kueneza heri na kueleza kuwa haijawadhuru…. isipokuwa sahii tuna ukame na mahali tunafanyia chanjo tunajaribu kutafuta mbinu ya kuwafikia mahali wamehamia,” Garissa County Health CEC said.
The northern frontier of the country is a top priority for the ministry of health given that less than 2 percent of the population in the affected counties has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
The counties include Marsabit, Wajir, and Mandera, with Turkana, Tana River and Narok also securing a slot among the list of counties with low vaccine uptake.
“We have prioritised these communities because of the very nature of their pastoralism way of life, so we are prioritising the Johnson and Johnson jab to reach them,” Dr. Patrick Amoth – Acting Director General of Health said.
Counties of Nairobi, Nyeri, Kiambu, Laikipia and Nyandarua are leading in the country in matters of vaccine uptake.
881,563 persons have been fully vaccinated, which is a representation of 3.2% of the country’s adult population.
And while countries within the African continent continue to push for vaccine equity, the U.S. food and drug administration has amended the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-Biontech COVID-19 vaccine to allow for use of a single booster dose.
The dose is to be administered at least six months after completion of the primary series in individuals 65 years of age and older, individuals 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe covid-19; and individuals 18 through 64 years of age whose frequent institutional or occupational exposure to sars-cov-2 puts them at high risk of serious complications of COVID-19
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