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Kagwe warns hospitals offering Covid jabs to those outside priority list

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has warned health facilities found administering Covid-19 vaccines to those not on the priority list that their practicing licenses will be revoked.

The CS issued the warning on Monday when he gave the daily update on the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Kagwe said the ongoing vaccination exercise, which is voluntary, is only available to eligible members at selected public and private hospitals as well as faith-based organisations.

“So long as a facility has been designated as a vaccination site, it should administer vaccines to all qualifying members of society without discrimination. But we must not administer to those not prioritized as vaccines are not yet available for all. Should we receive information to the contrary, we may have no alternative but to consider punishing such facilities to the extent allowable in law, including suspending or revoking practice licences,” he said.

In Kenya, the government hopes to have 16 million people inoculated over the next two years with the priority being health workers, the elderly and the vulnerable.

Kenya is offering the Covid-19 vaccine shots for free to its citizens while meeting the Sh845.80 per shot as negotiated under the Covax facility.

The CS warned that action will also be taken against facilities designated as vaccination sites that will turn away those qualified to receive the jab which he maintained is free.

“Vaccination is available to eligible members of our society at all our referral and select facilities in the counties. These facilities include those owned and managed privately, as well as those that belong to faith-based organisations. For the avoidance of doubt, any eligible officer can turn up for vaccination at any facility designated as a vaccination site and get their jab for free. I have noted with concern that some facilities, especially private ones, have been turning away officers not working for them. Please take note that this is not acceptable” he said.

He said 530,000 doses of AstraZeneca had already been distributed to various regional centres and 40,359 frontline workers were vaccinated against the virus countrywide.

The country in early March received 1.02 million doses, enough for slightly more than 500,000 people requiring two doses eight to 12 weeks apart. This would cover health and home-care workers, teachers as well as security personnel.

The second phase will involve 9.7 million people, comprising people aged above 50 and those aged above 18 with underlying medical conditions, between July year and June 2022.

The third phase, to unfold concurrently with the second, will be aimed at 4.9 million people, including those living in congested areas and seen as particularly vulnerable.

Among hospitals to get the jabs are Kenyatta National Hospital, Mathari Hospital, Memorial Hospital, Moi Airbase Hospital, National Spinal Injury Hospital and Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital.

Some of the private and faith-based health facilities selected include Aga Khan Hospital, St. Francis Community Hospital, Jamaa Mission Hospital, Coptic Hospital, Nairobi Hospital, Ruaraka Uhai Neema Hospital and Mater Hospital.

The announcement comes in the backdrop of warnings that the health care system in the country is under strain from the rising Covid-19 cases occasioned by the third wave.

As of Monday, Kenya had recorded a total of 122,040 cases after 1,130 people tested positive from a sample size of 5,119.