The government on Thursday commenced administering Covid-19 vaccines to Kenyan athletes.
It is a move Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed believes will benefit up to 3500 athletes and stakeholders, and eventually aid in the resumption of sports activities in a safer environment.
The vaccinations started at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, two weeks after President Uhuru Kenyatta indefinitely suspended all sports activities in the country a decision he said was influenced by the sudden rise in positive Covid-19 cases in the country."
"We have commenced a nationwide vaccination program covering all our national teams with specific priority to teams participating at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games," explained Mohamed.
The CS clarified that the full list of those given the priority to receive the vaccine includes all personnel working on the WRC/FIA Safari Rally Kenya, World Athletics U20 Championship, World Athletics continental tour, the Rugby Barthes Cup, officials from Sports Kenya, Kenya Academy of Sports, Anti-Doping Agency, and all Ministry of Sports frontline staff.
The vaccination exercise will run for five days with as many as 3500 athletes targeted coming at a time sports organizers around the world have made it a requirement that all visiting sportsmen and women should possess Covid-19 vaccinations passports over and above a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate.
The government's move to vaccinate athletes comes two days after a lobby group namely One Voice One People urged authorities to not only reconsider the recent move to indefinitely suspend sports activities in the country.
The group, led by sports stakeholder Francis Gaitho, explained that thousands of athletes had been left jobless after President Uhuru Kenyatta's decision while also requesting the Ministry of Sports to consider vaccinating athletes.