Kenya: Sports Ministry Lines Up 3,500 Jabs for Kenyan Teams

The Ministry of Sports in collaboration with its health counterparts and Nairobi Metropolitan Services has secured 3,500 Covid-19 vaccines for Kenyan team members going to the Tokyo Olympic Games and other international assignments.

Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohamed disclosed that they were targeting inoculating 3,500 athletes, coaches and officials across the country for Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and other events.

The Sports CS at the same time ruled out the reopening of sporting activities across the country until the third wave of Covid-19 is slowed down.

She, however, said she was in discussions with sports federation's officials regarding the reopening.

"We shall review the situation soon though I can't give the timeline. It shall be gradual as we take into consideration the risk every discipline poses," said Amina.

Amina said that all personnel working on Safari Rally, World Athletics Under-20 Championships in athletics, World Athletics Continental Tour's Kip Keino Classic and the 2021 Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy will also be vaccinated.

Others to benefit from this rollout are Sports Kenya, the Kenya Academy of Sports, Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya, Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund and all Ministry of Sports frontline staffers.

Amina announced this yesterday at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani when she officially kicked off the nationwide vaccination programme covering national teams with specific priority to those heading for the Tokyo Games.

"As a global sports leader, Kenya has yet again demonstrated her focus to fight this debilitating virus," Amina said.

She said they wanted to provide our sportsmen and women an opportunity to become globally Covid-19 compliant.

"This will pave the way for our teams to safely compete in international events with the full protection of the vaccine."

Amina noted that sports organisers around the world are requiring that delegations possess Covid-19 Vaccination Passports over and above a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate.

"This exercise will guarantee that our athletes continue to represent the country in these crucial events, continuing with the Kenyan tradition of international sports dominance," noted Amina, adding that she wants all the athletes to have taken their second doe a month before the Tokyo Games.

A total of 600 people were to receive their first dose of AstraZeneca drug on Thursday with 500 more targeted for today at Kasarani.

Amina was accompanied by Sports Chief Administrative Secretary Zach Kinuthia and Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo and Regional Commissioner Nairobi, James Kianda, who took their first dose of AstraZeneca drug.

Amina said she will take her dose after all the sportsmen and women have received their first dose.

The iconic Safari Rally that is back at the World Rally Championship (WRC) fold will be staged June 24 to 27 this year while the 2021 Rugby Africa U20 Barthes Trophy is due on June 24 to July 4 this year in Nairobi.

The Tokyo Olympic Games runs from July 23 to August 8 while the World Under-20 Championships in athletics is due on August 17 to 22 in Nairobi followed by the Kip Keino Classic on September 18.

Amina noted that these events required adequate preparations, including full vaccination and reciprocal compliance with international Covid-19 sporting protocols.

"I assure the country that this exercise will cover every sportsperson and support personnel wherever they may be," said Amina as she encouraged Kenyans to take the vaccine.

The vaccinations will run until Tuesday next week following a national-county government vaccination collaboration model covering Nairobi, Kajiado, Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet.

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