On Sunday, November 21, 2021, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced several strategies that are being proposed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. These strategies are:
- Making proof of full vaccination a prerequisite to receiving government services from December 21, 2021.
- Counties to ramp up on testing and vaccination. Vaccination drives to be done through outreaches during market days and other approved days.
- Players in the transport sector to require proof of vaccination before offering services to passengers.
- Proof of vaccination to be required for admission into National Parks & Game Reserves, Hotels, Bars & Restaurants
- Visitors/Tourists/Travelers from the European region MUST be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination before entry into the country.
- In view of the Emergency Use Authorization by PPB and following WHO recommendation, vaccination of young people with Pfizer commenced on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, lowering the applicable age to 15 years and above.
On the day that these strategies were being announced, the total doses that had been administered were 6,398,580. Of these, people partially vaccinated were 3,990,944 and total fully vaccinated were 2,407,636 placing the 2nd dose uptake at 56.4%. The proportion of adults fully vaccinated was 8.8%.
As of December 15, 2021, a total of 8,515,984 vaccines had so far been administered across the country. Of these, 5,101,374 were partially vaccinated while those fully vaccinated were 3,414,610. The uptake of the second dose among those who received their first dose was at 56.9%. The proportion of adults fully vaccinated was 12.5%. The Ministry of Health is working towards vaccinating a targeted population of 27,246,033.
From the graph, one can clearly see that there was an increase in the uptake of vaccinations from November 21, signaling that people actually acted in response to the government directive. The government also ramped up vaccination efforts to make it more accessible to people.
However, the big question remains, what about Omicron? Will the government introduce measures like the Rwandan government has? Christmas is next week and people will be travelling to their rural homes. Will lock downs and curfews arrest the situation? As of December 16, the infection rate was 16.5% yet a week earlier, it was 2.5%, with KEMRI announcing that there is also an influenza outbreak. We remain vigilant and alert while anticipating directives from the government.