Low COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake A Threat To Busia Residents

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By Reuben Olita

Health Officials have raised concern over the low uptake of Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines in Busia County.

The Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) Coordinator, Juliet Kilima said residents have remained reluctant to get the jab despite efforts put in place to suppress the disease.

Speaking at the Busia One Stop Border Post (OSBP) where the County Government of Busia is conducting a vaccination drive in collaboration with Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) targeting truck drivers, cross border women traders and locals, Kilima stressed that Covid-19 is still there.

“We have realized that people are sluggish to come for vaccination. This is probably attributed to the way the National Government relaxed the Covid-19 measures,” she said, adding that locals interpreted it that the disease is no longer there.

Ms Kilima continued: “It is very important for us to be inoculated to get hard immunity to fight the disease. My appeal to residents of Busia including expectant and breastfeeding mothers is that let us turn up in large numbers at the OSBP and other designated health facilities to get vaccinated.”

She revealed that so far a total of 300,000 people have been vaccinated in the County with those who have received the 1st dose being 42 per cent while the 2nd dose is 27.9 per cent of the general population.

“Out of the target population of 100,000 Bodaboda operators in the County about 16,000 have been vaccinated. When you look at our statistics the percentage of men who have been vaccinated is lower than the female,” said the EPI logistician.

“We are focusing on vaccinating atleast 80 per cent of our population by June 2022. There are adequate vaccines including Astrazeneca, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson as well as human resource and partners supporting vaccination activities,” she said.

TMEA Infrastructure Programme Officer, Valerie Moraa and the Administrative Assistant Kenya Country programme Officer, Hillary Abala said the 6 days vaccination exercise that ends on 10th April, 2022 is also being done at the Malaba OSBP.

“We are having moonlight vaccination from 8pm for those travelling by bus through the Busia and Malaba border points,” said Abala.

“Apart from Busia we also plan to roll out the vaccination drive in other counties among them Mombasa, Nairobi and Eldoret,” added Moraa.

-TMEA Administrative Assistant Kenya Country Programme Officer Hillary Abala and the Infrastructure Programme Officer Valarie Moraa at the Busia OSBP.

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