Kenya Rules Out Deploying Booster Doses In COVID Containment Campaign

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 8 – The Ministry of Health has ruled out the rolling out booster shots in the country in efforts to prevent severe coronavirus-related hospitalizations.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman has said Kenya is yet to approve the use of the shots as he stressed that “no one is entitled to get the shot in the country”.
“While some countries are using the shots. Kenya is yet to decide if we will be taking that path,” he said on Wednesday during a meeting with religious leaders.
He pointed out that the government is currently keen on utilizing the already available vaccines to inoculate unvaccinated Kenyans before considering the use of the booster shots.
“We still have so many vaccine doses and what we want to see is any Kenyans get vaccinated because we run a risk of having those doses expire if they will not be utilized in time,” he said.
Kenya has received over 20.7 million doses of different vaccines from various nations as part of donations. As at December 8, over 7.6 million Kenyans had been inoculated.
The fight against the virus in the country has intensified with the Ministry of Health officials on high alert after the discovery of the Omicron variant which has cast a shadow of uncertainty across the globe. No case of the variant has been reported in the country.
Kenya has deployed the AstraZeneca vaccine, Moderna, Pfizer and the single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the nationwide vaccination campaign.

Most of the doses have been donated by the European Union (EU) and others through the Covax facility.
Kenya hopes to vaccinate 10 million people by the end of the year 2021.
The uptake of the vaccine in the country has in recent days been on the rise following a government warning on an intended decision to lock out those who will not have been inoculated by December 21 from accessing key services.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on November 21 announced that those who fail to take vaccines will be denied access to public transport and hotels beginning December 21.
He further announced that the government will also withhold key services including those offered by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) among other agencies.
The government has however, maintained that vaccination drive is voluntary and not mandatory with Aman hinting that the government might review that decision.
The Ministry of Health and the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRCK) unveiled a joint vaccination campaign that will see places of worship used as venues for vaccination across the country.
Chairperson of the IRCK, Reverend Joseph Mutie, said leaders will use the campaign to encourage Kenyans who are yet to get the COVID-19 jab to do so and also use the campaign to disabuse the myths on the safety of available vaccines.
“We as religious leaders we will be at the forefront to ensure that many Kenyans are vaccinated because the getting the jab will protect us all,” he said.

The campaign will be conducted for three months ending March 2022.—CapitalFMKenya

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