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Kenya: Omicron variant prompts mass vaccination

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The fear of being infected with the newly discovered coronavirus variant omicron, pushed a lot of Kenyans to go for their covid 19 vaccine on Tuesday as cases of the potentially more contagious variant keeps increasing.

First identified in South Africa, it has prompted concern among scientists and public health officials

"........ I overheard fears about the omicron variant which is ravaging the world so I decided to come for the jab even though we don't know if the jab will protect us from the variant because the virus keeps on mutating so we are not sure if it will protect us, but we have come for the vaccine just to fulfil our fears." Kelvin Biwott, Kenyan resident said.

Head of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists & Dentists Union, Dr. Davji Atellah, said it wasn't yet possible to predict a rebirth of the virus due to the new variant.

Atellah urged Kenyans to keep getting vaccinated and called on the government to improve access to jabs.

".... .... should also have the drive-through vaccinations. In the places of work, on the road streets, at the public transport regions and even in the clubs so it becomes a way of combating this particular virus. We saw with the previous strain of delta, that actually by being vaccinated there was a lot of protection from getting severity and we believe that could also happen with this particular strain if more studies are continually being done on it." Dr. Davji Atellah,

He said there was a chance that getting inoculated could provide good protection from severe disease caused by the omicron variant.

So far United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Belgium and Australia have reported cases of the new variant joining a growing list of countries that have confirmed cases among travelers returning from southern Africa.

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