Baringo Covid-19 Vaccination Still Very Low – Health Department

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Only 2.7 per cent of residents from Baringo have completed the Covid-19 vaccination doses, County health department has said.

Baringo CEC for Health, Dr Richard Rotich says that 9,135 people out of the targeted population of 338,937 people above 18 years in the region have received the first and the second doses.

Dr Rotich has attributed the low number of the people to come forward and get the vaccines being administered at the 38 vaccination designated sites across the 30 wards of the county to their willingness to come for the jab.

He decries that although the vaccines from the Ministry of Health are available, the designated sites were recording few people on a daily basis.

“The low uptake of the vaccine is majorly due to lack of willingness or maybe ‘the fear of the unknown’. I am urging the residents of Baringo to visit the designated vaccination sites in the county to be vaccinated against Covid-19,” he pleaded.

Baringo Covid-19 Vaccination Still Very Low – Health Department
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He says that the department has defined a clear strategy where whenever vaccines are availed by the ministry of health both those needing the second dose are vaccinated immediately and the new group is eligible to be vaccinated on the available vaccines.

Dr Rotich wondered why the residents are less receptive on vaccines which are free of charge that could save their lives and reduce dangers of possible deaths occasioned by admissions to a hospital facility due to severe effects of the deadly virus.

The Acting Chief Officer for Health Salome Chelimo while reiterating the sentiments said that the county begun the vaccination drive in March this year with an initial consignment of 6,000 doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine which targeted frontline workers as they were at a greater risk of exposure and spreading the virus.

“The initial vaccination drive targeted healthcare workers, inmates, security people, teachers and persons over 58 years,” she said.

Chelimo cited that challenges they faced in the vaccination program included stigmatization on covid-19 suspects affecting willingness to seek testing and management of cases hence likely to lead to further spread of the virus.

“Inadequate resources to facilitate critical response pillars limiting response capacity in detecting, investigating, contact tracing and follow up cases,” Chelimo said.

Chelimo said they have strengthened enforcement of public health measures across the county as directed by the president after more health practitioners were trained on how to better administer the various vaccines to those needing them.

The Chief Officer further said they are also giving contact tracing at sub county level a priority whenever a case arises in order to break the chain of transmission of the viral disease.

Baringo assembly Majority Chief Whip Reuben Chepsongol in his remarks requested health officials not to discourage those people from the county who would like to choose a particular vaccine they would like to be administered to them.

Chepsongol who is also MCA for Bartabwa noted that a controlled vaccination will discourage many people who are eligible for vaccination to willingly visit health facilities administering the vaccines.

“If someone would like to be administered with Moderna or Pfizer, let them be vaccinated because they have their rights to be vaccinated the way they wish,” he said.

The vocal MCA added that the government should also buy the idea of importation of private Covid 19 vaccines in the country like Sputnik.

“Why should ministry of health condemn other vaccines and embrace others yet they serve one purpose of saving our people from this deadly pandemic?” he questioned.

He noted that had other vaccines been allowed in the country, it could have eased the growing anxiety of those who are not sure about the efficacy of certain vaccine being rolled out in the country by the government.

At the same time, he challenged the Kenyan authorities to embrace local research of vaccines in order to limit over dependencies from foreign countries.

“We have the capability to manufacture our own covid 19 vaccines because we have enough experts and the resources to do so,” he said.

The Bartabwa MCA also lamented over the sudden shortage of Anti retro viral (ARV’s) drugs in the country saying that it has become a challenge to those who depend on them.

He urged the government to take an immediate action to provide the drugs since continued delay will put such patients at a higher risk of not getting treatment during a period when covid 19 has ravaged the country.

Baringo County has had a total of 1,251 cases of Covid-19 infection and 51 percent of the cases being from Baringo Central followed by 18.6 percent from Baringo North.

Covid-19 case fatalities in Baringo county stands at 51 people and 66 percent being male while 33 percent being females.

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