Health Chief Officer, Augustine Lokwang, on Thursday became the first person to receive the Coronavirus vaccine in Turkana County.
Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro launched the vaccination drive at the Lodwar County Referral Hospital (LCRH), which will target healthcare workers and other front line workers including security officers, teachers and county enforcement officers.
Lotethiro said the County had received 9,000 doses of the Astrazeneca vaccine, enough to vaccinate 4,500 people for the first and second doses within two months.
“Indeed this is going to be a game changer in slowing the transmission of coronavirus across the county as we strive to achieve herd immunity. We cannot tire to emphasize that the vaccination is just but one of the ways of preventing coronavirus spread and I urge all to continue wearing masks, observe social distancing and follow all MOH prevention protocols,” he said.
He said the second phase will target individuals aged over 50 years, people with pre-existing conditions including the diabetic, obese, those with sickle cell disease, chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, TB, HIV/AIDS patients, chronic lung disease among others. The third phase which will kick off mid next year, targeting persons in care homes, prisons, detention centres, street families and those working in the hospitality industry.
Lotethiro cautioned those spreading myths about the Covid-19 vaccine to stop misleading the public as the vaccine is scientifically proven to be effective against the novel coronavirus and cleared for use.
County Executive for Health and Sanitation Jane Ajele urged frontline healthcare workers to get vaccinated to protect themselves and the public in the course of their duty. She said health workers taking part in the vaccination had been trained to administer the vaccine.
County Chief Officer of health Cpt. (Rtd.) Augustine Lokwang revealed that he had volunteered to be the first to be vaccinated in a show of leadership and to encourage health workers targeted in the first phase.
Director of Health Services Dr. Gilchrist Lokoel and other senior health officials were present during the launch.
by Peter Gitonga