TSC News; Worry as Health Ministry Records low uptake of vaccine by teachers
It has now come to the attention of the health ministry that out of the total 110,000 teachers who had been mapped out for the first phase of Covid-19 vaccination, only 52, 420 have so far turned up for the jabs.
Data emanating from the Ministry of Health indicates that by Thursday, only half of the targetted number of teachers had received the vaccination.
According to the teachers’ employer, Teachers Service Commission (TSC) approximately 110,000 teachers had been identified as high risk and were to be given priority in the ongoing vaccination drive.
The teachers’ employer further noted that the identified staff have hit 50 years and we’re therefore among the most vulnerable as had been advised by the Ministry of Health.
Of these, TSC said 92,850 teach in public schools, while 16,500 who fall under the high-risk category teach in private and international schools.
The targeted number of teachers in the first phase of the vaccination exercise is just a fraction of the total number of tutors in Kenyan schools.
There are 330,671 teachers working in public schools and 158,000 in private schools.
Overall, vaccination data shows that some 104,726 health workers have been vaccinated against a total population of 208,418.
Some 30,821 security officers had also been vaccinated by end of Thursday. Also vaccinated are some 190,396 persons aged 60 years and above.
What is of greatest concern to the education sector is the slow uptake of the vaccine by teachers, which now puts the fate of schools opening into question.
Safety of teachers will be a key determinant in the reopening plans for in-person teaching as it emerged that they are the most vulnerable groups in the school set-up who urgently need the vaccine.
Basic Education Principal Secretary Julius Jwan pleaded with teachers to go for the vaccine. He said vaccination was one of the strong foundations of reopening schools as teachers would be assured of their safety.
“Teachers who will not have been vaccinated will be exposing themselves,” Jwan said. The PS, however, assured Kenyans that schools will reopen as planned.
“We shall be consulting the Ministry of Health and higher authorities on this matter,” said Jwan.
Below are quick facts about the Covid-19 vaccine currently being administered in Kenya
COVID-19 MASS VACCINATION IN KENYA KEY FACTS-GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT
The arrival of approximately 1 million doses of the newly-invented covid-19 vaccine in Kenya has paved way for a mass vaccination exercise targeting high-risk groups and frontline workers.
Unfortunately, not all Kenyans are pre-qualified for the vaccination during the first phase owing to the limited supply of doses.
Besides, every vaccine has got side effects ranging from mild to severe. It is therefore prudent to acquaint yourself with the possible side-effects and other relevant facts about the new covid-19 vaccine being administered in Kenya.
FACTS ABOUT THE NEW COVID-19 VACCINE BEING ADMINISTERED IN KENYA
The covid-19 vaccine currently being administered in Kenya is known as AstraZeneca. It was procured and distributed by UNICEF as part of the COVAX facility.
COVAX is a global initiative launched by the World Health Organization, the European Commission, and France last April to ensure COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines reach the developing world.
All registered nations receive equal access to the vaccines irrespective of their income.
Is it safe?
Yes. This is simply because it has undergone all the clinical trials and received a series of independent reviews including regulatory review and approval.
HOW IS IT ADMINISTERED?
The health worker administers the vaccine in form of an injection, a jab on the upper part of the arm. See the picture below.
TSC BOSS Dr. Nancy Macharia being vaccinated against covid-19
A sore arm said Jemimah Katama a nurse and lead coordinator at Kenyatta National Hospital’s Infection Prevention and Control department.