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Threats and coercions won’t help in the covid-19 vaccination drive

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I know by now if you are currently living in Kenya you are already aware that the government by 21st of December will lock out unvaccinated Kenyans to essential services.

The government through the Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe said those who will be in need of the in person essential services that is Immigration, Taxation, Education, Health and even Prison visits will need to have the covid19 certificate or else they will be denied these essential services.

“We are giving sufficient time for people to go through this exercise so that post 21 December 2021 people don’t then start accusing police of harassing them, demanding bribes when they had a chance,” he said at a covid19 Presser.

Remember one will also be denied access to Hotels, Restaurants, Public spaces or even National Parks, if one will not have been vaccinated against covid19.

Seemingly frustrated by the covid19 vaccine reluctance, the government has sprung into action issuing this directive, especially with the emergence of a new corona virus variant named the Omicron that the World Health Organization WHO has declared a concern.

“Nobody is saying that you are being forced or there is mandatory vaccination, don’t do it and as for going to courts, of cause you know somebody is bound to go to court, that is Kenya for you, however what the courts cannot do is force somebody who is vaccinated to entertain a person who is not vaccinated, there is also the public health act,” Kagwe added.

 The guidelines issued by CS Kagwe are a departure from the state of public position that he took in early this year January to be precise that vaccination would remain voluntarily and not coerced against peoples wishes.  

Though low as compared to western countries, Kenya’s rate of fully vaccinated citizens is higher than the African average of less than 5%.

As of November 28th 2021, a total of 6,959,988 vaccines had so far been administered across Kenya, of these 4,295,764 were partially vaccinated while those fully vaccinated were at 2,664,224.

In an interview with a number of Kenyan’s who were yet to receive the vaccine, they feared that once they get the vaccine they might die from it or have severe side effects. but you know you can’t blame them for that , what is needed is enough public awareness education from the government to convince the unvaccinated to get vaccines, I mean this is the only way to go but not threats.

Mimi sitachukua vaccine, hiii gava inataka kutuuwa , unajua tumejaa sana hii Kenya so vaccination hii imekuja na wazungu ni way ya family planning yaani kutupunguza hii Kenya.  I don’t think I will be able to be vaccinated reason being it might be a way by the government to introduce family planning to us indirectly,” Sir Njoro Kim a Resident of Ngara Nairobi revealed.

Instead ya kublock watu kuaccess government services kwa  hao hawajavaccinatiwa ingekwa bora wangefanya vile wao hudu kwa polio vaccine campaign …waende door to door” Instead of the government opting to block the unvaccinated to access the services it would have been proper if it used the same mechanism it uses in the administering of Polio vaccine…. majority would have been vaccinated by now,” Mama fua wa Pangani said.

As much as I am for the Say yes to the vaccine campaign, I am not for the idea of forcing people to get vaccinated. There is a big difference between encouraging someone who hasn’t been vaccinated to get vaccinated and coercing someone to do so. If you tend to coerce someone to take a vaccine then it will lead to people taking shortcuts where fake vaccine certificates will start flying around. This will definitely undermine the entire efforts the government has put in place to eradicate this virus.

And with regards to the directive where the unvaccinated will not be allowed in hotels, Public Service Vehicles, Restaurants etc. , I think this will be un workable, I mean which business owner will  decide to lock out customers?

I must congratulate the government though for its efforts in combating this deadly disease, the vaccination numbers I have highlighted above just shows the government’s commitment in ensuring that this disease is kept under control. I also take this opportunity to encourage my fellow Kenyans to embrace the covid19 vaccination drive. It is only through vaccination that we will get back to normalcy as quickly as possible. Let’s also remember that over 5000 people have so far died from the disease, many others hospitalized with this deadly disease, livelihoods lost and even economy affected .Yes you might have your own reasons as to why you do not want to be vaccinated but also remember that you owe responsibility to the other person.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists union KMPDU has warned the government against the locking out of the unvaccinated Kenyans to government services saying the move will end up inciting Kenyans to rebel against the covid19 jab arguing that the ministry would have involved stakeholders and Kenyans at large before making the decision.

“When the ministry of Health makes a unilateral decision without involving other stakeholders, partners and residents they may end up messing the entire society. It is time the ministry involved KMPDU and other civil societies to educate and empower Kenyans on the need to be vaccinated,” KMPDU secretary General Dr Davji Bhimji said.



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