The World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to Kenya Dr Rudi Egger has assured the safety of the vaccine being administered in Kenya.
Speaking during the official launch of the COVID-19 vaccine at Kenyatta National Hospital Friday, Dr Rudi noted that while the vaccines have been developed and produced in record time, the regulatory and scientific reviews of the vaccines have not been compromised.
“The Astra Zeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India, this vaccine now in Kenya, has been reviewed and found safe not only by WHO itself, but by several stringent regulatory authorities, including the United States FDA and the European regulatory authority.” He said
Adding that many of the vaccines have now been administered across the world, and no additional safety signals have been received.
“So, let us be clear, these vaccines are safe.” He added.
Dr Rudi also assured that the COVAX vaccines Kenya has received are donated from COVAX, with the support of many state and philanthropic donors.
“The same is true for the injection materials used in this vaccination drive. In addition, UNICEF has been extraordinarily helpful to provide the transport and logistics of these vaccines from the manufacturers right up to the regional vaccine stores in Kenya at no further cost.” Said Dr Rudi
He said there will be no cost to Kenyans or the Kenyan government for the vaccine and all COVAX vaccines that will be delivered.
“Clearly, there is still a cost to the Kenyan government, as the salaries of those that deliver the vaccines and the vaccine transport cost from the regional stores to the health facilities across all 47 counties. But the vaccine itself is donated, with no cost to Kenya.” He added.
The WHO representative said the vaccines will initially protect only those that are vaccinated as it will take a long time for the so-called herd immunity to be established.
“While the vaccines will initially protect the health workers and essential staff, and then the most vulnerable persons in society, including the elderly and this with other diseases, many Kenyans will not receive the vaccines initially. It is therefore essential for all to understand that, with the arrival of these vaccines, we still cannot let down our guard.” He urged
He called for all to continue observing Covid-19 protocols .
” With the arrival of these vaccines in Kenya, we have turned a corner, and can say that we are on the road to ultimately recover from this pandemic. We encourage all that have access to the vaccines to get their shots soon to protect themselves adequately. And again, we call on all to continue the public health measures required to avoid ongoing transmission, spread, disease and death.” Said Dr Rudi
He at the same time thanked the health workers in Kenya, people that have put their own lives and the lives of their families at risk for the purpose of serving all Kenyan.
The health workers and other essential staff will be the first to be protected with vaccination, and will then to be followed by those of greatest risk of severe disease and death.
The vaccinations will be conducted at all the country’s County referral hospitals.
The Director-General of Health Dr. Patrick Amoth was the first Kenyan to take the jab at Kenyatta National and Referral Hospital.
Speaking during the launch before taking the jab, Dr. Amoth explained that front-line workers and other priority groups will be vaccinated free of charge.
He once again called on the media and all Kenyans to stop spreading propaganda on vaccines.
On her part, health Permanent Secretary Susan Mochache who officiated the event encouraged all health workers to take advantage of the vaccination drive.
She said the ministry has put adequate measures to ensure the country keeps up with global standards of the Covid-19 vaccinations.
Mochache at the same time asked Kenyans to continue observing Covid-19 protocols to prevent further spread of Coronavirus.