TSC: Mass vaccination of over 200 000 teachers against Covid-19 launched
Mass vaccination of teachers countrywide against the novel Covid-19 pandemic is set to kick off today.
Officials at the TSC headquarters are expected to be at the forefront, receiving Covid-19 jabs during the official launch at the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) headquarters in Nairobi.
Besides senior TSC officials, key officers from the Ministry of Health will also take part in the exercise.
Teachers to be vaccinated ahead of KCPE/KCSE 2020 national exams
The vaccination drive comes barely two weeks to the official launch of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education, KCPE and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education national tests, which will be overseen by more than 200,000 teachers.
Representatives of the Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) and the Kenya Secondary School Heads Associations are expected to witness the launching of the exercise today.
Kepsha chair wants older teachers and those with underlying risk factors vaccinated first
When Kepsha learnt about the government’s plans to roll out mass vaccination, its chair Mr. Johnson Nzioka gave a proposal that older teachers and those with pre-existing conditions be given priority.
In one of the interviews, Mr Nzioka noted that Kepsha had lost a significant number of members to the novel coronavirus that has continued to ravage the education sector and the country at large.
He also noted that there were approximately 30,000 school administrators who should be next in line, arguing that the heads interact with teachers and other key stakeholders including parents, suppliers and random members of the community whenever they come to seek services.
Therefore, incase the government runs out of sufficient vaccines for the 350,000 teachers in the country, Kepsha proposes a phased roll out, with proper mapping out of high risk staff.
As of November 2020, public primary and secondary schools had a total of 25,000 falling within the high-risk bracket-teachers aged 58 and above.
In line with the government’s Covid-19 management plan, most of these teachers indicated readiness to work from home as from January 2021.
An additional 12,000 are above 59 and therefore due to retire by June 30, 2021.
The roll-out of the mass vaccination is timed to coincide with the start of secondary and primary school leaving examinations.
“The congestion that occurs at the containers during collection and drop-off of examination materials poses a high infection risk for teachers and vaccination will help build teachers’ confidence,” said Nzioka.
Some 1,088,986 candidates will sit KCPE, while another 699,745 will sit KCPE exams.
Unlike in the past, the exams were moved from the traditional October-November period to March-April following heightened school closures to mitigate the spread of the pandemic.