Economy

200,000 teachers yet to get Covid jabs as new calendar year starts

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Summary

  • More than 200,000 or 73 percent of tutors are yet to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as schools reopen for term one today.
  • Covid-19 Vaccine Advisory Taskforce Chairman Willis Akhwale said Monday only 27.1 percent of teachers countrywide have received their second jab.
  • This amid anticipated student congestion with the return of 15 million learners to classrooms including Grade 5 and Form One learners who had remained home an entire school term to avoid a calendar overlap.

More than 200,000 or 73 percent of tutors are yet to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as schools reopen for term one today.

Covid-19 Vaccine Advisory Taskforce Chairman Willis Akhwale said Monday only 27.1 percent of teachers countrywide have received their second jab.

This amid anticipated student congestion with the return of 15 million learners to classrooms including Grade 5 and Form One learners who had remained home an entire school term to avoid a calendar overlap.

“We are opening schools with 27.1 percent of teachers being fully vaccinated, but it can be better,” he said during release of a Teachers Service Commission (TSC) report on teacher preparedness for the reopening of schools.

At 27.1 percent, only 77,268 of the 285,122 TSC registered teachers are fully vaccinated.

Data from the Ministry of Health shows 1.6 million people had been vaccinated across the country by Sunday, with 625,332 having received their second covid-19 jab.

TSC data shows 56 percent or 158,528 of teachers have received the first dose of the vaccination.

President Uhuru Kenyatta allowed the Ministry of Health to open vaccination to all teachers irrespective of their age, weeks after they were categorised among frontline workers.

Other frontline workers include nurses, clinical officers and doctors who were given priority in the first phase of the vaccination that concluded in June.

So far, 73 teachers have lost their lives to the virus since it was first reported in the country in March last year.

Dr Akhwale noted that vaccine access challenges had been addressed with Kenya expecting additional doses from three suppliers starting August.

“Starting next week the county is going to receive 1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from European countries, 1.76 million doses of Pfizer from the US government and will also start taking deliveries of 13 million doses of Johnson and Johnson which have been bought by the government,” he said.

Kenya confirmed 2,093,014 cases of the Covid-19 and 3,865 fatalities Sunday, ahead of schools reopening this week.