Deadline requiring Kenyans to be vaccinated to get gov't services lapses

COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccination centers across the country on Tuesday saw a surge in numbers as Kenyans rushed to take action before the implementation of the directive, which barred unvaccinated Kenyans from accessing government services.

However, a momentary check at various government agencies revealed an air of normalcy as services flowed freely.

At the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Training and Referral Hospital in Kisumu, the vaccination center was empty Tuesday morning as residents lined up to search for the vaccine.

Elijah Otieno, 29, was among those who went for the first dose about 9 months after the COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Kenya.

“I was among the shy people, sikuwa nataka hiyo chanjo…lakini sasa, because of Kusema ukweli, hiyo government directive itabidi nichanjwe.”

"Vile naona kwa news ni kama the government is serious about this and I don't want to miss government services so I decided to get vaccinated," said Eric Stalon, another Kisumu resident.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe issued a directive in November banning unvaccinated people from accessing face-to-face government services from Tuesday, December 21.

However, Judge Anthony Mrima suspended the directive pending hearing and adjudication of a petition challenging the legality of the government directive.

A momentary check by Citizen TV at Huduma Centers across the country drew an air of normalcy as services were delivered uninterrupted. Despite this, the government claims to protect the health of its citizens.

“Unapotaka huduma kama hujachanjwa piga simu…lakini kama huwezi piga simu na pia hutaki mugta chanjo basi pia hauhitaji huduma. Sikiliza, afya ya binadamu ni muhimu sana, kwa hivyo Tuzingatie afya siku zote,” government spokesman Col (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna said.

The Kenyan government's approach to blocking unvaccinated Kenyans from accessing face-to-face government services as it tries to administer 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by 31 December has taken action as more Kenyans rush for the vaccine.

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