01-04-2021 by Freddie del Curatolo
In the first three days of availability of AstraZeneca vaccines in Kenya for foreign residents over 58 years old, as per the decree of the Ministry of Health, there are already many Italians who have decided to be injected with the vaccine that provides about eighty percent of immunity to Covid-19, if the booster is made not earlier than 8 weeks after the first dose.
This criterion of the World Health Organisation has also been adopted by the Government of Kenya, which has included the "over 58s" among the categories that have priority for the first distribution of vaccines, those provided free of charge through the Covax programme, funded largely by the public-private partnership GAVI, of which Italy is a member, and among the non-public bodies the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation plays a key role.
The first compatriots to use the vaccine were the residents of Nairobi. Among them, as is well known, are some established doctors and employees of international organisations and diplomacy.
But restaurateurs and hoteliers and a large proportion of older residents also went to licensed health posts.
Those in their sixties and above are also the first to go to Malindi Sub-County Hospital for the vaccine.
Long-term residents, shopkeepers, workers in the tourist industry and the public did not hesitate and chose the first available option, booking themselves in for the booster which will take place in about two months' time.
The sign that in Kenya people are much less influenced by information and by the sensationalism of the media and social networks that now reigns and affects the decisions of a large part of the population, comes from the serene acceptance of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the only one available so far in the country, although from the next few days it should be possible to request the Russian vaccine Sputnik, subject to authorisation from the Ministry of Health, which for the moment only allows its use in emergencies, in some private facilities and against payment., and also Johnson & Johnson have said they are ready to distribute in Kenya. A Chinese vaccine, which is very similar to the British one, will also arrive soon.
The Aga Khan hospital website points out that the AstraZeneca vaccine is very efficient on the British variant, while it would be less efficient on the South African one, which is less widespread in Kenya.
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