Nairobi identifies 16 hospitals as Covid vaccination centres

Covid-19 vaccination

Covid-19 Taskforce Chairman Willis Akhwale receives a jab at Mutuini Hospital on March 9, 2018 during the vaccination rollout in Nairobi County.

Photo credit: Kanyiri Wahito | Nation Media Group

Nairobi County has launched the first phase of Covid-19 vaccination which expected to be administered to high priority groups.

The launch was done Tuesday at the Mutuini Hospital in Dagoretti South.

The Health ministry has allocated 72,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine which will be given to healthcare workers, community health volunteers, security personnel and all staff working in hospitals.

About 5,000 healthcare workers drawn from public hospitals and another 22,496 from different private facilities are expected to voluntarily receive the jab.

Speaking during the launch, Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) boss Major General Mohamed Badi said that 16 hospitals have been identified as vaccination centres.

Trained personnel

Covid-19 vaccine task force chairman, Dr Willis Akhwale, said that only trained personnel will be allowed to inoculate the eligible people.

“I have to insist that not any healthcare worker can vaccinate someone. We encourage all healthcare workers to get the jab in any facility of their choice as long as they present their credentials,” said Dr Akhwale.

“We are not going to rush and get things wrong, we are going to be effective and efficient,” he added.

Dr Akhwale said that the government will ensure that there are no cases of jumping the line during the vaccination process.

“The Ministry of Health will adhere to the priority groups as listed in the deployment plan. We request county authorities to ensure that this is adhered to,” he said.

Vaccine hesitancy

NMS Chief Officer of Health, Dr Ouma Oluga, who received the jab during the launch, asked fellow healthcare workers to also consider taking the jab. This follows reports on vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers.

The president Kenya Medical Association (KMA), who spoke to the Nation earlier, had attributed the hesitancy to healthcare workers being left out and negligence on public education on vaccine safety.

“We recently carried out a poll among health workers and the results were that 28 per cent are not willing to take the vaccine,” he said in the interview.

Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna, who was also at the launch, said that the government will work with State broadcaster, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, to disseminate information on vaccines to the public.

Show by example

“I would like to urge healthcare workers that it is time to show by example that we believe in science and that the government has brought safe vaccines,” he said.

The first phase of the rollout is expected to end by June 30, 2021.

The task force has recommended a blended approach to training the vaccinators which will involve both in-person and online training.

“Apart from the 110 healthcare workers that we have trained, we are planning to train another group next week so that they can cascade the training down to the counties,” Dr Akhwale said.