Just like President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s Minister of Health Mutahi Kagwe is yet to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
CS Kagwe explained his decision to skip the jab saying he was not a priority and would not jump the queue.
“I will not take the vaccine until it gets to my turn on the priority list. If I take it before I will be accused of jumping the queue. If I do not take it, I will be accused of not leading by example.
“So, I am not sure which is which and that is why I have chosen to await my turn. The worst thing that could happen is if a nurse got Covid-19 because I have taken the vaccine meant for her,” he said.
Kagwe’s remarks come as more countries across Europe and Asia continue to suspend the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine over concerns about possible side effects.
The Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Bulgaria, Iceland and Thailand have already halted their use of the AstraZeneca vaccine over an increased risk of developing a clot.
Dr Willis Akhwale, Kenya’s vaccine taskforce chairperson, defended Kenya’s continued use of the vaccine saying the suspension by other countries is not the same as stopping the use of the jab.
“The AstraZeneca vaccine being used in Europe was not made by Serum Institute of India. If we were sharing batch numbers we would also stop it,” he said.
President Kenyatta also allayed fears over the safety of the vaccine and urged Kenyans to refrain from spreading rumours.
“Kenya is entering a critical phase in the management and control of the pandemic, with the arrival of WHO prequalified Covid-19 vaccines. This vaccine has been tested and our medical experts are persuaded that its safety is bankable,” he said.
Adding: “If you have any questions outside policy, with regard to execution and how it will be done, ask the experts. Let us not depend on rumours.”