Q&A: Why haven't Uhuru, Raila and Kagwe received the Covid jab?

Rudi Eggers

World Health Organization Kenya Representative Rudi Eggers in a recent event. He advised Kenyans to continue observing the Covid-19 prevention measures as only a few people will get vaccinated.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Some of the questions being asked include:
  • Can I get the vaccine if I am eight days pregnant?
  • If one is allergic to chicken and eggs will they die if they get vaccinated as the Health Principal Secretary Mochache cautioned?
  • Is it true that if I get the Pfizer vaccine, one of the known side effects is a continuous erection for seven days?

1. If one is vaccinated and interacts with positive people without protection, is there a likelihood that they may test positive?

We do not have compelling data to indicate so yet. You might have particles of the virus in your nose.  Therefore, it is important to keep your mask on even after inoculation.

2. What is the difference between a variant and a strain?

There is no real difference. However, a variant is a referred to as a strain when it shows distinct physical properties which means when it behaves differently from its parent virus.

3. What variant /strain does the AstraZeneca vaccine currently being rolled out in Kenya work on and does it work on the variant/strain in Kenya?

The AstraZeneca vaccine is very effective against the original Covid virus but less so against the South African strain. But, we are also not getting enough information in Kenya on the South African variant. However,  so far we only know of six confirmed cases and we are not sure of the spread.

4. If one is allergic to chicken and eggs will they die if they get vaccinated as the Health Principal Secretary Mochache cautioned?

That is incorrect. There is no chicken or egg component in the vaccine.

5. Is what is being said about Bill Gates having an agenda in the Covid-19 vaccine drive true? That the aim is to reduce the world population with this pandemic and vaccines.

I do not believe Mr Bill Gates has an agenda of that sort.

6. Is it true that if I get the Pfizer vaccine, one of the known side effects is a continuous erection for seven days?

This is not one of the side effects listed by both Pfizer and the World Health Organization.

7. Can I get the vaccine if I am eight days pregnant?

Unfortunately, we do not have sufficient data on the safety of the vaccine when it comes to pregnancy.

8. Why does a person need two doses instead of one?

Most Covid vaccines need two doses to boost immunity. It depends on the formation of the vaccine.

9. How come it took a very short time to come up with a Covid-19 vaccine yet there is no cure for HIV/Aids, which has been around for decades?

The working mechanism is quite different. Vaccines elicit a body immune response while HIV changes the way the immune system works, making it difficult to come up with a HIV vaccine.

10. Does the vaccine affect fertility in women and sperm count?

It is not true. That is not listed among the side effects of the vaccine.

11. Why haven’t President Uhuru Kenyatta, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga being vaccinated? Some people will only trust the vaccine if these leaders are vaccinated.

Politicians are following the Ministry of Health guidelines, which prioritise frontline health workers for vaccination.

12. Can patients suffering from cancer, HIV or diabetes among other diseases get vaccinated against coronavirus?

Yes.

13. Can vaccinated people get infected with the coronavirus and pass it on without exhibiting symptoms?

We do not have enough data to answer that question.

14. If you have been treated for Covid-19 and recovered, do you need to be vaccinated?

The Health ministry has a policy for individuals eligible for immunisation. They must have not tested positive for the virus within the past six months prior to the jab.

15. Anything else you wish to add on vaccination?

Although the vaccination drive has started, it is important to note that only a few people will get the jab. Therefore, it is very important to keep on wearing masks, sanitising your hands and observing social distance.

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