Covid jab centres deserted but the disease still kills


A nurse administers COVID-19 jab. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Covid-19 vaccination centres in Nairobi County are nearly empty with only a few people going for the jabs, as the public moves on and lowers its guard against a disease that is still silently killing people across the globe.

A Business Daily spot check revealed that less than 10 people visit some two vaccination centres in Kasarani in a day as compared to more than 500 seven months ago, casting doubts if the government will vaccinate the projected 27 million adult Kenyans, a target it missed last year.

The country has so far fully vaccinated 10,153,371 adults.

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At Kasarani Maternity, the centre is nearly deserted. A six-hour stay at the facility saw not a single person come in for a jab.

Mary Muriuki, one of the health officials offering the jabs said the number of people inquiring about the vaccines has dropped.

“The exercise has seriously gone down. In a week, we register up to five people, most of them are expectant mothers and those who disclose to us that a mandatory situation has forced them to have a shot. But we are still opening daily since the government has not discontinued the exercise,” she said.

At Kasarani Community Hospital the numbers have equally reduced.

The situation is no different at Metropolitan Hospital in Buruburu. A receptionist at the facility said they can even go a whole day without anybody asking for the vaccines.

The situation has prompted a number of health facilities to contemplate transferring vaccination to other health facilities to allow the health workers to engage in other lifesaving exercises.

Top private hospitals like the Aga Khan and the Nairobi Hospital also register low numbers.

This is happening at a time the Ministry of Health is decrying the huge number of undisclosed doses of vaccines that are almost hitting the expiry date.

“Vaccine doses are available. Our main worry is the large number of doses that are a few months shy of expiry. People are so relaxed about Covid-19, but the reality is that it’s still killing people” said Dr Andrew Mulwa, head of preventive health at the Ministry of Health, who declined to disclose the actual number of doses that are almost expiring.

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So far, a disclosed total of 843,000 vaccine doses have expired.

The latest data from the ministry shows by February 9, 2023, a total of 450,120 doses of vaccines were remaining at the Kitengela central store.

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