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Kitui faces low covid-19 vaccine uptake

Kitui County Commissioner, Mbogai Rioba has lamented over low number of Covid-19 vaccinations administered to locals since inception of the jab last year citing poor turnout for the vaccine by locals.

Mr. Rioba expressed concern over poor turnout of locals for vaccination and called on them to present themselves at vaccination centers to get the jab.

The county commissioner was speaking today at Kitui County Referral Hospital when he launched a ten days long covid-19 mass vaccination campaign exercise across the county set to run until July 31.

He noted that, the country has to date recorded a total of 337,085 confirmed cases of covid-19 with 5,652 deaths recorded.

However, he observed that the country has not reached its vaccination targets with only 32per cent of the eligible population having received the jab until now.

“This therefore triggered the National government in partnership with United Nations Children Fund(UNICEF),  African Medical Research and Education Foundation ( AMREF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) to launch the ten days mass vaccination exercise in 24 counties that are lagging behind,  Kitui being among them,” the administrator regretted.

He encouraged local residents to scale up their turn up for the vaccine in order to ensure the country achieves its target of 100 per cent of the population getting the entire regimen of covid-19 vaccination.

Rioba  explained that hundred per cent target meant to vaccinate all adults aged 18 years and above and also projected that half of the country’s adolescents do receive the jab as per the ministry of health advice.

While instructing Chiefs and Assist Chiefs to sensitise residents to get vaccinated in an effort to curb the deadly pandemic, the county boss noted that the vaccine is safe, with no side effects as per World Health Organisation.

“So far we have no known side effects to those who have received the jab thus, the vaccine is safe with a 68 per cent mark of effectiveness to curb covid-19. I therefore instruct chiefs and their assistants to sensitise and encourage locals to visit health facilities across the counties for the jabs,” he directed.

He also urged locals to continue observing the Covid-19 prevention measures of washing hands, maintaining a one-meter distance from each other as well as wearing of face masks, more so with the emergence of this sixth Covid-19 wave.

With more resources needed to sensitise residents on the same, he flagged off two vehicles to be used in the exercise as a sign of the county’s commitment to scale up the covid19 campaigns.

Dr. Winnie Kitetu, the County Chief Executive Committee Member (CECM) for the ministry of health, who had accompanied Mr. Rioba cleared the air on the myths and misconceptions associated with the vaccines noting of zero known side effects.

She however warned of opportunistic diseases that comes along once one is infected with covid-19 virus. She cited diabetes, high blood pressure, mental health complications as well as unending lung related infections as the aftermath of covid infection.

“I urge you to get the jabs in order to save on costs of treating these diseases. We are currently recording high number of covid-19 infections in the county opposed to the low vaccination turnouts. Covid itself may not kill you but the opportunistic diseases may kill you, the aftermath is deadly and costly,” she warned.

By Denson Mututo

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