Story/Reuben Olita

At least 9,494 doses of Coronavirus (Covid-19) are on the verge of expiry as few residents respond to calls by the county government of Busia to be vaccinated, health officials in Busia County have warned.

The Director Public Preventive and Promotive (Public Health) Services Dr Melsah Lutomia said the vaccines including Astrazeneca (5,560), Pfizer (3,284) and John and Johnson (650) will go to waste by December, 2021 if residents fail to respond to calls to get the jab.

Speaking at the Busia County Referral Hospital (BCRH) during a stakeholders meeting to discuss ways to improve the vaccine uptake across the County, Dr Lutomia disclosed that myths and misconceptions are among issues that have affected efforts to increase the number of locals inoculated.

“The only focus is to look for a way out on how the vaccines will be utilized to prevent disposal. The situation needs joint efforts to ensure the Covid-19 jabs are cleared for the benefit of residents,” she stressed.

She added that they have resolved to increase Covid-19 vaccine outreaches as well as community awareness campaigns to address the challenge of vaccine hesitancy among the locals.

Statistics from the Busia Department of Health indicate that as at 17th November, 2021 a total of 48,423 residents including healthcare workers, security officers, teachers and those above 58 years had been vaccinated for the 1st Dose while 19,576 received the 2nd dose.

Matayos Sub County leads the pack in terms of those vaccinated in the County with 24,434 for the 1st dose, followed by Butula (6,409), Samia (4,667), Teso North (3,697), Nambale (3,649), Teso South (2,898) and Bunyala (2,529).

The 2nd dose Matayos Sub County remains top with 8,404, Samia (2,841), Teso North (2,218), Butula (2,085), Nambale (1,615), Teso South (1,295) and Bunyala (1,122). During the meeting spearheaded by the County Health Promotion Officer Nelson Andanje, participants urged both the National and the County Government to issue a directive that will ensure those seeking services from various departments are vaccinated.

Kenya Red Cross Society Busia Branch Coordinator Patrick Lwango said they have intensified efforts to increase knowledge on the need for the people to get vaccinated particularly in Bunyala, Matayos and Teso North Sub Counties. Also present was the Global Implementation Solutions (GIS) representative Charles Okendo and Busia Assistant County Commissioner 1 Peter Kemei.

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