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Kenyans eager to get Covid-19 vaccine amid shortage warning

A Kenyan woman receives the first injection of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine   -  
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While there may be Covid vaccine skeptcism in some parts of the world, in Kenya, people are eager to get protected against the virus.

Almost 900,000 people have been innoculated with the first dose as the third wave has made people more active to get vaccinated, which has pushed up demand.

To deal with the situation, the Metropolitan Hospital in Nairobi has required people to make appointments one day before going to the hospital to get vaccinated.

"The third wave is a bit extreme. People have realized that if you don't get vaccinated, you are likely to get a severe form of COVID-19. And that I think has greatly triggered people to come to facilities and demand for vaccine. And I think it's a good thing. The attitude has completely changed. People want to receive the vaccine as soon as they can," said Elijah Ongeri, head of nursing at the Metropolitan Hospital.

"As a teacher, we normally interact with the pupils, we interact with the students, we interact with the colleagues, so it's quite prone to the pandemic, the COVID-19 I mean. That's the reason why I have just decided to come and get the jab. I have gotten the jab and actually I felt normal," said English teacher Ezra Mungai.

Teachers like Ezra, medical workers, police and security and those over the age of 58 can get vaccinated.

The high willingness shown by Kenyans in getting vaccinated can help the country overcome the third wave of the disease, but it may also lead to a vaccine shortage, according to Rudi Eggers, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Representative to Kenya.

"Almost all of those doses have now been given. And due to the export restrictions from India, the next shipment has been delayed. So we are currently in the situation where the supply of vaccine is the biggest problem. So we do encourage countries to actually also in addition to the COVAX Facility to source the vaccine bilaterally from the manufacturer," said Eggers

Kenya received its first batch of around one million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines through the COVAX Facility in March.

The country has reported more than 155,000 cases and more than 2,500 deaths, according to figures from the WHO.

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