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

  • A spot-check at various government outlets however revealed an aura of normalcy as services flowed freely.
  • Tuesday morning at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu, the vaccination center was abuzz as residents endured long queues in search of the jab.
  • 29-year-old Elijah Otieno was among those that went for the first dose, almost 9 months since the COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Kenya.

COVID-19 vaccination centers across the country on Tuesday experienced a surge in numbers as Kenyans rushed to take the jab ahead of the implementation of the directive that bars unvaccinated Kenyans from getting government services.

A spot-check at various government outlets however revealed an aura of normalcy as services flowed freely.

Tuesday morning at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu, the vaccination center was abuzz as residents endured long queues in search of the jab.

29-year-old Elijah Otieno was among those that went for the first dose, almost 9 months since the COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Kenya.

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

Eric Stalon, another Kisumu resident, said: “Vile naona kwa news ni kama the government is serious about this, and I don’t want to miss the government services so I’ve decided to come to be vaccinated.”

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

Justice Anthony Mrima however suspended the directive pending the hearing and determination of a petition challenging the legality of the government directive.

A spot-check by Citizen TV in Huduma Centres across the country painted an aura of normalcy, as services were offered without disruption. Despite this, the government maintains that it shall safeguard the health of its citizens.

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

As the government of Kenya seeks to administer 10 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines by December 31, the tact to bar unvaccinated Kenyans from accessing in-person government services has stirred action as more Kenyans rush to get the jab. 

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