Nairobi News


Kenyan storyteller nurse in US contracts Covid-19 days after vaccination

By Hilary Kimuyu February 18th, 2021 2 min read

A Kenyan nurse who has made his name in the US for telling stories to his patients and bringing hope to many who survive the Covid-19 has contracted the virus despite receiving a vaccine.

George Otieno, 47, who works at the Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital in Michigan, says he contracted the virus during his volunteer missions in other states, 16 days after he received his first Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

“I got Coronavirus 16 days after my first Covid-19 vaccination while helping fight Coronavirus in the Southern Border of California as a Travel Nurse. Am still going to get my second shot in two days,” said Otieno.

Otieno will now have to spend the next 10 days in self-isolation before taking a second Covid-19 test to confirm he has fully recovered.

He is known for entertaining his patients through the art of storytelling, where he performs his high-energy story times in full African costumes and attire.

“This disease is real and it is affecting many,” he noted.

The Kisumu Boys High School alumni said that after having witnessed the pain many patients undergo, he applies his other talent – storytelling – to help his patients in the recuperation process.

“It is such a therapeutic moment to see patients deflected by my stories or riddles as they mitigate the big pandemic,” he said.

Notably, Otieno, who runs Fishmonger Storytelling sessions on YouTube, tells Kenyan fables of the Hare and the Elephant and legends like Lwanda Magere and Gor Mahia to his patients.

“Once upon a time…,” he starts his stories with a drum and interlude with music selected to bring the right mood to his ailing audiences.

He is a member of the Wakenya In Michigan Association (WIMA), a group of Kenyans who volunteer and do community outreach throughout the state.

Born and raised in Kenya, George moved to the US in 2000.

As of Wednesday, the Coronavirus pandemic, had infected more than 27 million Americans and killed at least 488,100 in a little over a year.

Roughly 39.7 million out of some 331 million Americans have received at least their first dose of Pfizer’s or Moderna’s two-dose vaccines, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And 15 million of those people have already gotten their second shots.