The department of health in Tharaka Nithi County is aiming at vaccinating 20,913 people against Covid-19 in the first phase of the exercise amid slow uptake of the jab.
Those targeted for the vaccination in the first phase include, health workers (4,158), security personnel (2,121), teachers (12,634) and religious leaders (2,000).
The vaccination exercise was rolled out at Chuka County Referral Hospital two weeks ago with Governor Muthomi Njuki being the first to receive the jab, but so far, only 221 have been vaccinated, most of them health workers.
Residents have growing reservations about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine especially after some leaders who had received the jab including Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi got infected.
Speaking at Marimanti Sub-County Hospital yesterday, county health executive, Dr Gichuyia Nthuraku assured residents of the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.
He however explained that the jab does not give an immediate immunity to the virus and that one must receive two inoculations for full effectiveness.
“The vaccine offers full immunity after receiving the two doses which are to be taken in a span of three months,” said Dr Nthuraku.
He noted that 25 health workers from the public, private and mission hospitals in the county have been trained on administration of the vaccine.
He added that even those vaccinated must continue to observe the Covid-19 health protocols because the virus keeps on mutating.
Dr Nthuraku urged the health workers to accept receiving the jab for their safety and that of the patients that they handle and even as an example to the general public.
He also advised the residents to treat any cough, fever, muscle pain, and breathing complications as covid-19 signs and symptoms and visit a hospital for screening.
So far, the county has recorded 324 positive cases and 18 have succumbed.