Nyeri County Feted for leading in Covid-19 vaccine uptake

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Nyeri County has been awarded as the best performing county in Covid-19 immunization.

The award ceremony which was held at the Central Vaccine Store in Kitengela Nairobi saw Nyeri county scoop the first position for inoculating 52.7 per cent of total population against Covid-19 pandemic.

Data from the Ministry of Health shows that a total of 268,835 of the county’s 510,028 adult population has been fully vaccinated while 16,756 have further received their booster shot.

Another 9,029 teenagers aged between 15-18 years have also been fully vaccinated. This represents a 14.5 per cent uptake out of a target population of 62,472 teenagers residing in the county.

Nyeri County Health Chief Officer, Adan Ibrahim has said that despite the move by the Ministry to relax some of the Covid-19 regulations, the county Health Department was still undertaking a vigorous Covid-19 awareness and vaccination campaign targeting the remaining 47 per cent.

“Immunization is a voluntary process but we are still administering the Covid-19 jab in our health facilities and the static sites. There has been a slight decline of vaccine uptake for the last one month but we are still trying to come up with strategies and outreach programmes aimed at inoculating about 240,000 residents because the threat of the pandemic is still with us,” Adan told KNA on phone.

Other counties that were recognized include Nyamira County and Tana-River County which emerged as the best performing Arid and Semi-Arid Land County in immunization.

During the event, 21 vehicles were donated to 21 counties by The Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) to boost vaccine distribution efforts across the country. GAVI is a public–private global health partnership whose objective is increasing access to immunization in poor countries.

According to the Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe, the vehicles will remedy the weak vaccine transportation system that hinders movement of vaccines from the regional depot to sub-counties.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Kagwe also acknowledged the support by GAVI in boosting the country’s routine immunization coverage to 88 per cent which is two per cent below the recommended 90 per cent.

He however noted that despite immunization being the second most cost effective public health intervention against diseases, a large number of children are still unvaccinated with the lowest county recording less than 60 per cent immunization coverage.

“It is through your dedication, in your various roles that in collaboration with the county leadership we continue to undertake our mandate of health service delivery, ensuring that immunization coverage remains high and vaccine preventable diseases are controlled. Your support comes in to plug a gap that we have been aware of for some time,” said Kagwe.

By Wangari Mwangi

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