Home Kenya News Covid-19: Catholic bishops root for mass vaccination

Covid-19: Catholic bishops root for mass vaccination

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The Catholic Bishops after a meeting with CS Matiangi in Nairobi

The Catholic Church wants the government to relax some of the rules on Covid vaccines to encourage faster uptake.

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops urged the government to do away with restrictions on the age, occupation, and number of people who can be vaccinated in any given centre.

The bishops also warned against a rushed reopening of the economy.

They said it was premature to abandon the enforcement of preventive regulations before a critical number of Kenyans have been vaccinated.

The group added it would offer its health institutions across the country to speed up mass vaccination.

The bishops, who spoke during a meeting with Interior CS Fred Matiang’i Wednesday, took issue with the decision to allow matatus and other public transport vehicles to resume carrying passengers at full capacity.

They said the move was likely to incite other sectors to abandon Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings.

“We are disheartened by the fact that while the fourth wave of Covid-19, which is more infections and dangerous than the previous ones that have hit the country, most of the public transport containment measures have been lifted,” they said in a memo read by KCCB chair and Mombasa Diocese Bishop Martin Kivuva.

Matiang’i said the government is targeting to vaccinate 15 million Kenyans by the end of the year.

He pleaded with the Church to encourage more citizens to take the Covid jab.

“We have received an offer for 13 million doses from Johnson & Johnson that will be arriving in the country in the coming days,” he said.

“With this consignment, we believe we have enough doses to reach at least 15 million people by December 15 this year. We regard the Church as an important partner in our effort to ensure a critical mass of Kenyans has received this important jab.”

The meeting that was organized to introduce the new KCCB leadership chaired by Bishop Kivuva also asked the government to engage faith institutions more in the management of schools.

The bishops asked the government to crack the whip on schools charging illegal levies and to ensure fairness in the marking of national exams.

They claimed the results of the last KCPE examination were skewed to favour candidates in public schools.

The bishops also called for a genuine crackdown against corruption and challenged institutions tasked with the prosecution to ensure there is sufficient evidence to sustain cases against graft suspects.

The government has ramped up the push for vaccination and even ordered civil servants to ensure they get the Covid jab. The group has until August 23 to ensure they get their first jab or be disciplined.

As of August 10, 2021, 1,881,988 vaccines had been administered across the country. Of these, the first doses are 1,160,809, while the second doses are 721,179.

The ministry of health says the uptake of the second dose among those who received their first dose is at 62.1 percent with the majority being males at 55 percent while females are at 45 percent. The proportion of adults fully vaccinated is 2.6 percent.

The uptake of the second dose by Priority Groups is as follows include 58 years and above 221,527, others 212,746, health workers 122,882, teachers 105,719 while security officers are at 58,305.

-The-Star

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