Have you been vaccinated against Covid-19? If not, you might be denied services in Kenyan government institutions and entry to your favourite bar this festive season.
In what is likely to cause anxiety ahead of the December holidays, Kenya's Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced that those seeking public services must be fully inoculated to ensure the country doesn’t shut down due to a high infection rate.
The CS said that people will be required to have proof of vaccination for admission into hotels, bars and restaurants, national parks and game reserves by December 21.
Only people who have got both shots of the vaccines, such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna or the single shot Janssen jab will be able to access government services or travel across the country.
“I want to let Kenyans know that next month drivers, and boda boda riders will be required to ask that you show proof of being vaccinated before you can travel,” Mr Kagwe said.
“Governments in others countries are debating whether to re-impose strong restrictions as we head to the festive season and so should we. We know that during the festive periods many of the known measures against the virus such as social distancing can easily get overlooked as people make merry,” he added.
CS Kagwe said everyone in the travel industry should be vaccinated and carry proof at all times in a measure that would be coordinated by the Ministry of Transport and other stakeholders.
Mass vaccination exercise
Mr Kagwe also said all travellers to Kenya will have to carry a Covid-19 vaccine certificate, joining Spain, Iran, Italy, Denmark, Israel and Germany in imposing strict measures in the fight against the virus.
“Visitors, tourists, travellers from the European region must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination before entry to the country,” he said.
To accelerate inoculation, the ministry will be undertaking a 10-day mass vaccination exercise from November 26 with the aim of administering adequate jabs to as many people as possible.
Kenya has recorded over 254,000 confirmed Covid cases with over 5,000 deaths.
The CS said Kenya would not go back to implementing harsh regulations to contain the virus. He added that teenagers would get the Pfizer vaccine from next week, which would increase the number of vaccinated Kenyans.
The CS expressed his displeasure at counties such as Siaya and Homa Bay, which have a dense population yet they do not seek vaccination services.
As per the latest situation report, there has been a total of 254,057 cases, 146,966 (58 per cent) are male and 107,091 (42 per cent) are female. Most of them are people aged between 30 and 39.
Men have had a higher crude death rate than women and out of total of 5,314 deaths, 3,406 (64 per cent) were male. This is despite the fact that more men have been vaccinated at 1,021,942, with women at 902,762.