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Health Ministry defends “No vaccination no services policy” to avert fourth wave

NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 24-The Ministry of Health has defended its recent directive that unvaccinated people will be denied essential government services from next month.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said last week that anyone not vaccinated will be denied essential government services, with restrictions in entertainment joints and other places, in what has sparked outrage.

And on Wednesday, National Taskforce on Vaccine Deployment Chairperson Dr. Willis Akhwale defended the directive saying there is no two way when it comes to the fight against the pandemic.

“The directive is to ensure that the gains we have made in the fight against corona virus in the country we don’t lose on them and that we are better prepared for a 4th wave,” said Akhwale.

Kagwe said that in-person government services and access to public gatherings, parks, hotels, restaurants, and bars will be denied government from December 21.

Other services to be denied include Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), education, immigration, hospital and prison visitations, National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), Kenya Ports Authority among others.

This move has sparked debate about the rationale behind compelling Kenyans to get vaccinated by specific dates, certain date with activists terming the move “coercive and unconstitutional.”

In defending the directive, Akhwale said Kenya can easily get into the fourth wave unless radical measures are taken.

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“We will do everything possible; we can’t afford to go back to lockdowns which cause a lot of suffering to this country. The solution is to get as many people as possible vaccinated as quickly as possible,” he said Wednesday when he received 907, 200 doses of Johnson&Johnson vaccine from MasterCard Foundation through the AVAT mechanism of the African Union.

Kenya plans to vaccinate at least 10 million people by December.

The 10 million targets by end of December is still on course. We are urging the county governments to mobilize their people for this vaccination campaign. The donation received will be distributed in readiness for the campaign we are expecting this weekend. We urge Kenyans to turn up in numbers,” Akhwale stated.

So far, only about 6.4 million vaccinations have been administered, with about 2.4 people fully inoculated.

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