Kenya: Samburu County's Frontline Workers Keep Off Covid-19 Jab

(file photo).

Only 47 people have taken the Covid-19 vaccine since its rollout in Samburu County which received 1,500 doses.

While health officials have been struggling to outpace the coronavirus and its variants by quickly inoculating frontline workers across the country, the priority groups designated to receive the jab -- healthcare workers, discipline forces and teachers -- are holding back.

Statistics from the county's health department indicate that only five women are among the 47 individuals who have been vaccinated.

Samburu Deputy Governor Julius Leseeto said lack of sensitisation is contributing to the hesitancy in embracing the vaccine.

Mr Leseeto, who led county health officials in receiving the jab, added that most of the medics are concerned about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine, an issue he noted could be driven by an exaggeration of information on the side effects.

Sensitisation programmes

Last week, the heads of the medical and nurses unions claimed the Ministry of Health has not involved them in preparation for vaccination and sensitisation programmes yet they are its first recipients.

Kenya Medical Association Secretary-General Simon Kigondu said on Monday last week that the fear of side effects, lack of knowledge and the speed at which the vaccines were developed are among the factors fuelling the hesitancy among health workers.

"Lack of knowledge and fear that there is not enough information about the safety of the vaccines is making them jittery and, therefore, increasing hesitancy," Dr Kigondu said on March 8.

He called for proper and truthful communication about the safety profiles of the vaccines for medics and others to make informed decisions.

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