Kenyans In A Hurry For COVID Vaccine As Govt Insists On Travel Requirements


NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 23 – Long queues were witnessed at vaccination centres on Thursday as Kenyans rushed to get the COVID-19 jab following a government directive requiring Public Service Vehicle and hotel operators to demand proof of vaccination from their clients.

According to the Health Ministry everyone going to bars, hotels, parties, conferences, sports, supermarkets as well as when seeking government services will need to show proof of vaccination.

While making the announcement Wednesday, Health Cabinet Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi said that the move is meant to cushion Kenyans from contracting the virus in the wake of Omicron variant spread.

“In public places, all persons must show proof of vaccination for admission into National Parks and Game reserves, hotels, bars and restaurants as well as use of public transport means including domestic flights, train and Passenger Services Vehicles,” Mwangangi said.

A section of Kenyans who spoke to Capital FM Thursday stated that they were compelled to get vaccinated especially due to travel plans during the festive season.

“I have come here to get my first dose and I have managed to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, God willing I am planning to travel tomorrow to Kakamega and I have seen it best to come take the jab so that I am safe while travelling,” Albert Ombisa said after being vaccinated at Nairobi’s KENCOM area.

Ombisa supported the government’s move to compel Kenyans to be vaccinated saying it’s for “their own benefit” pointing out that they should not “blame anyone” in the event they contract the virus.

Others stated that they had delayed getting vaccinated due to their busy work schedules.

“I work in town but my work schedule is very tight so when today I saw people being vaccinated in town, I decided to take one,” said Rachael Kiema, another Kenyan.

Sharifa Shaban who spoke after getting her second jab stated that Kenyans should voluntarily take the jab for their own good saying the government’s move will protect people.

“The human body is very delicate, I have witnessed some people getting sick and even dying from this virus and I think its best if people get vaccinated,” she said.

Lilian Mutua, a Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) health directorate official, said that they have taken the vaccination campaign closer to Mwananchi where they can easily access within two points in the city.

“We really encourage Kenyans wherever they are, it is safe for us to get the Covid vaccination. When many of us are vaccinated then we will have herd immunity. When we have these vaccines, it prevents us from contracting severe COVID disease or complications,” she said.

She appealed to Kenyans to follow the health guidelines set by the government to prevent the spread of the virus.

On Wednesday, the MoH reported 3,328 people tested positive for the disease from a sample size of 11,197 tested within 24 hours with positivity rate of 29.7 per cent.

The MoH added that the country has received 23 million doses of vaccines today adding that the health ministry had managed to dispense 9.2 million vaccines.

“Over 5.4 million people aged 18 years and above have received their first dose, while 3.7 million of those aged 18 years and above are fully vaccinated,” Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi said.

She added that they have also managed to vaccinate 13,845 people aged between 15 to 18 years with the Pfizer vaccine for their first dose.

Source: capital news