Holding a white piece of paper in their hands, the men and women queued patiently on Monday at a clinic in Ngara, on the outskirts of central business district in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, as each waited for their turn to get vaccinated.
And as their turns to get the COVID-19 vaccine came, they entered a tent, sat on a plastic chair and presented their left arms to be injected with the vaccine. They were then asked to check their mobile phones for a message of congratulations from the Ministry of Health. The clinic is among dozens of health facilities in Nairobi offering COVID-19 vaccination to any adult wishing to take the jab. And the vaccine response among Kenyans has been overwhelming as thousands in the capital throng health centers for the jabs. From the east of the capital to the west, Kenyans are braving long queues to get the vaccine. Moses Onyango arrived at Kenya National Health at 6:30 a.m. local time on Monday to beat the anticipated long queue. “I found about 25 people ahead of me and many more arrived soon after. By the time it was 8:00 a.m., we were a crowd,” said Onyango.
The vaccine enthusiasm is in all the vaccination centers across the capital. “Vaccines have been distributed to all vaccination centers across Nairobi,” Ouma Oluga, who is in charge of healthcare at the Nairobi Metropolitan Services said. The rise in the number of those seeking vaccination is attributed to increased awareness of the importance of the vaccine. “With COVID-19, the only remedy is vaccination. I will not hesitate to take the vaccine,” said David Kiarie, a motorbike taxi rider in Kitengela, in the south of Nairobi. Millions of east African nation residents are also keen to resume their normal lives, a majority having been squeezed by the disruption caused by the pandemic. As of Sunday, Kenya had vaccinated about 2.03 million people, with 746, 267 of them fully vaccinated. The number of people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 crossed the 2 million mark on Saturday. The number has been rising steadily since Kenya launched mass vaccination over a week ago, after vaccinating the priority groups that include security officers, teachers and health workers. However, as mass vaccination picks up in Nairobi, rural areas seem to have been left behind as the mass drive is yet to launch there.Kenya targets to vaccinate 26 million people by the end of 2022, according to the Ministry of Health.