Editorials

Tough Covid vaccination rule is good for economy

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Summary

  • Statistics indicate that only about 8.8 percent of the adult population is fully immunised.
  • Companies are taking a different approach and passing the cost of higher insurance on to employees who remain unvaccinated.

The 'no proof of vaccination, no services' directive by the Ministry of Health has raised concerns among some Kenyans about its implications for personal freedoms.

But in the long run, it will save the economy of billions of shillings. As the holiday season approaches, many Kenyans will interact more, travel in crowded buses, and make merry with little care of contracting coronavirus.

With a large part of the population not yet vaccinated, a rise in new infections would burden hospitals and even drag us back to another lockdown.

Statistics indicate that only about 8.8 percent of the adult population is fully immunised.

On the other hand, the government has done a lot of lobbying to get millions of vaccine doses from different pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, and Moderna to Kenyans, for free. All these life-saving vaccine doses cannot shouldn’t go to waste.

In any case, Kenya is not the only country that is addressing this vaccine apathy and hesitancy through denial of key services, including registration of land titles, approval of development plans, transfer, licensing of motor vehicles, and registration of business names and companies, underwriting of insurance policies, customs clearing, and forwarding, payment of deposits for power connections as well as supplying goods and services to the State, and opening accounts with financial institutions.

In Indonesia, those not fully vaccinated face sanctions such as fines and the suspension or delay of government services. France and the US also bar unvaccinated access to restaurants, travel, and more.

Other companies are taking a different approach and passing the cost of higher insurance on to employees who remain unvaccinated.

These initiatives and mandates both by governments and companies have worked to help raise the world’s vaccination rate.

In reality, the biggest cost of not getting the vaccine is delay in access to getting crucial services and living in fear that if you contract the virus, you will be at a higher risk of getting severe disease.

Let us support the Ministry of Health’s initiative.