The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) has rallied its members and staff to the Covid-19 vaccination drive as it seeks to increase the number of those vaccinated and keep businesses open.
KEPSA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Carole Kariuki, said that since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, KEPSA has worked closely with government and other partners to cushion Kenyans and businesses particularly Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) against the adverse effects of the pandemic.
Kariuki said that KEPSA signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Health (MOH) in May 2021, allowing for commencement of private sector-led vaccinations.
A total of 264 KEPSA members committed and paid for acquisition of 200,000 Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccines to benefit staff and their dependents and members of the host communities.
“Since September 15, 2021, we have successfully administered 83,655 doses of the J&J vaccine across forty-five counties in the country with the support of over 260 companies in 30 locations and seven hospitals approved by MOH. Contrary to our expectations, this low turnout has proven to us that vaccine hesitancy and low uptake is indeed a challenge across the country,” said Kariuki.
She highlighted that many people have lost loved ones or know of someone who has lost a loved one due to the pandemic.
“Some of us have lost jobs, businesses, or livelihoods due to scathing effects of the pandemic, which continues to ravage the world. Let us remember that it is our collective duty to win the war against Covid-19 by enforcing and ensuring that we observe health protocols, which now include vaccination,” she said.
Kariuki said that in their efforts to assist the government in getting as many people vaccinated as possible, this week they launched the second round of the private sector-led vaccinations in Nairobi with the aim of reaching anyone who may have been left out during the first round.
“Vaccinations will run from 10am to 4.00pm daily up to December 10, 2021, at various locations availed by KEPSA members. All remaining vaccines will thereafter be donated to our partner hospitals to benefit Kenyans who have not been vaccinated,” she said.
She said that the organizations that will host the second-round vaccinations between November 22 and November 26, 2021, include: East Africa Breweries, M-Gas, M-KOPA, Kenya Bankers Association, Liquid Telecom and 4G Capital.
“From November 29, 2021, to December 3, 2021, the second-round vaccinations will be hosted by EABL, M-Gas, KEPSA, NCBA, Mitchell Cotts, KEPSA and 4G Capital. Between December 6, 2021, and December 10, 2021, vaccinations will be hosted by EABL, British American Tobacco, Ganatra Plant & Equipment, Mitchell Cotts (JKIA) and 4G Capital,” said Kariuki.
“We laud the government, business and public efforts on containment measures and observing health protocols; patriotic efforts that have helped Kenya to escape the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, thereby saving lives and livelihoods, which are now beginning to recover slowly,” she said.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a