The Government of Kenya has made it public that refugees and other congregate communities like prisoners and the elderly will be considered among the second group of Covid-19 vulnerabilities to receive vaccination in 2021.
In this package, the communities hosting refugees will also benefit from this arrangement, according to UNHCR and World Bank (Kenya chapters).
Whereas the first batch of Covid-19 vaccine beneficiaries that include health workers, immigration officers, among others, will kick off with 1.2 million people in this month of February, the second batch may receive their health protection jabs by the middle of this year.
According to World Bank Kenya, one of the possible donors to the expensive vaccination program in the third world countries, "Host countries can benefit by including #refugees and internally displaced people in recovery efforts and ensuring their access to public health, education, and employment." https://t.co/PEqMEMbFDp @UNHCR_Kenya
This announcement was echoed by the Ministry of Health in their latest press statement on the program of campaign against the deadly pandemic.
With Phase 2 targeting 4.9 million Kenyans, especially those above 50 and the youth with pre-existing conditions, the refugees and inmates may be considered given the availability of the vaccines.
"Phase 3 - This phase could run concurrently with phase 2 depending on availability of adequate vaccines. In this phase, we hope to target the vaccination of 4.9 million people who will include all other vulnerable populations like those in congregate settings such as prisoners, refugees and those in homes for the elderly." The Ministry posted on their Facebook page.
To dispell the conspiracy theories spreading fears that the vaccine might not be safe, the Ministry Health assured the receiving population of safety measures.
"All the vaccines that the government intends to acquire will have undergone trials and found to be safe for use as per the international standards. In addition to that the Government has also set up a safety monitoring system, and any adverse effects reported will be investigated and corrective measures taken up immediately, in consultation with the Pharmacy and Poisons Board."
Meanwhile, host communities of the refugees have welcomed the development as they will equally benefit from the program.
Others have already received donations from UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) in form of testing kits and other health amenities.
Turkana governor, Mr. Josphat Koli Nanok, confirmed this positive development in a tweet yesterday, detailing the type of support donated to his county through Kakuma Refugee Camp.
"The machine will be installed at the Lodwar County Referral Hospital (LCRH) and adds to a similar machine installed at Kakuma IRC Hospital. We are grateful to UNHCR for the support and will continue this fruitful partnership to further strengthen the healthcare system in Turkana." Josphat Nanok tweeted. Link: https://t.co/Jty9FaobUs
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