Taita-Taveta County has received 1,500 AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines dosage from the national government under the Ministry of Health.
During the administration of the vaccine which kicked off on Monday, priority will be given to high-risk groups including medical health workers, officials in the security agencies and teachers in both public and private learning institutions. This is the initial batch of Covid-19 vaccines delivered to the county in the first phase.
Speaking at Moi County Referral Hospital on Monday during the official launch of vaccination exercise, the acting Director of Health Elvis Mwandawiro said the drug was safe for use by the targeted groups.
“The vaccines are safe and we are ready to administer them to the health care workers before everyone else,” he said.
The launch was also attended by Governor Granton Samboja, County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Health John Mwangeka, Trade’s Vumi Ringo and Youth’s Laban Mwashighadi. Other officials include chair for the County Assembly Committee on Health Omar Ahmed and Medical Superintendent at Moi County Referral Hospital Dr Felix Kimotho.
Governor Samboja thanked the national government for the support but noted that the vaccine dosage was not enough to cover all medics in the region.
“Our needs are more than what we have but we are hopeful we will receive more vaccines in subsequent phases,” he said.
The first medic to receive the vaccine was county health director Elvis Mwandawiro. Others who received the jab included Felix Kimotho and John Mwangeka.
There are plans to take the vaccines to sub-county hospitals in Mwatate, Taveta and Wundanyi to vaccinate workers in those regions.
Governor Samboja further urged nurses who are still on strike to appeal their sacking to the County Public Service Board. He said the county was keen to have service in medical facilities resume normalcy.
“We are asking the nurses to file their appeals with the county public service board. They should not be misled by union officials or politicians,” he said.
Already, the board has received over 100 appeals from nurses while 97 new nurses have been hired to bolster health services in the region.
by Janet Nyambura/Christine Matunda