Kenya: County Accuses Nurses' Union of Incitement Against Covid-19 Vaccine

(file photo).

Kakamega County has accused the nurses' union of inciting its local members against receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.

This comes as the turnout of frontline health workers from the devolved unit who have volunteered to receive the vaccine jab remains low.

Kakamega Health CEC, Dr Collins Matemba, said the county recorded 100 people who had received the jab on the first day (Monday) of the exercise.

"On the second day, only 23 frontline workers turned up. The number may continue to go down due to the rumors being spread against the vaccine," he said.

He placed the blame for the trend squarely on officials from the local Kenya National Union Of Nurses (KNUN) branch.

"Union officials in the county have threatened nurses from getting the injection. We are not happy that while the union officials have been making a lot of noise about the high rate of Covid-19 infection amongst their members, they are again fighting the vaccine that is meant to keep them safe," added Dr Matemba.

In neighbouring Vihiga County, at least 350 teachers aged above 50 years and those with underlying medical conditions started getting the Covid-19 jab on Tuesday.

The drive that was spearheaded by the local branch of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) was held at Idavaga Muslim Secondary in Mbale town with more teachers urged to take part.

Kuppet executive secretary, Mr Sabala Inyeni, said the drive targets teachers in secondary schools and tertiary institutions.

Mr Inyeni said they were allocated 350 vaccines out of the 3,000 jabs that were received in the county.

The unionist said teachers were sensitised to undertake the jab as part of ongoing efforts by the government to contain the spread of Covid-19.

"We are calling on teachers to take this vaccine. It has not been scientifically proven that the vaccine has adverse effects," said Mr Inyeni.

In Busia county, more than 250 frontline healthcare workers and other service providers have been vaccinated against Covid-19 since rollout.

Health and Sanitation Chief Officer, Dr Isaac Omeri, said the vaccination exercise which is being administered at the Busia County Referral Hospital (BCRH), has received a positive response.

Speaking in Busia town, Dr Omeri expressed confidence that more people will turn out to receive the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine once the exercise gets to the Sub-County hospitals.

"We are targeting 6,000 people in the county to benefit from the 12,000 doses of the first phase of Covid-19 vaccine released by the Ministry of Health to Busia County," he said, adding that teachers are among the beneficiaries who have been given the first priority.

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