Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has issued a warning to companies reportedly selling insurance against Covid-19 vaccine side effects.
Mr Kagwe told such companies to cease and desist, saying the insurance is not only unnecessary but also unethical, and no firm should claim to provide the such services.
The CS’s statement came after insurance firm, AAR, ran an online advertisement stating it was providing cover against Covid-19 vaccine side effects.
“An advertisement of such services is misleading to the public and creates unnecessary anxiety among people who are already at risk of severe Covid-19 disease. In addition, the vaccine is offered for free, and no direct expenses should be incurred by clients seeking to be vaccinated,” he said.
Mr Kagwe said the advertisement insinuates that vaccines are unsafe and therefore people need to be covered.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and has mild side effects such as headache, nausea and fever, which are also common with the other set of vaccines.
He added that the Ministry of Health has also put in place additional safety monitoring programmes through the Pharmacy and Poisons Board.
“The government warns any company or groupings that are out to profiteer from the Covid-19 pandemic that it is criminal and punishable by law in accordance with the Public Health Act.”
Mr Kagwe noted that all vaccines deployed for Covid-19 vaccination in Kenya have received the World Health Organisation and Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board Emergency use listing.
The ministry been conducting COVID-19 vaccination since March, a measure to fighting the pandemic that has resulted in the loss of many lives and livelihoods.
So far close to 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines have been administered in Kenya.
Kenya is targeting to vaccinate its entire adult population by December 2022.
As of August 10, a total of 1,881,988 vaccines have so far been administered across the country. Of these, total first doses are 1,160,809 while second doses are 721,179.
The uptake of the second dose among those who received their first dose is at 62.1 per cent with the majority being males at 55 per cent while females are at 45 per cent. Proportion of adults fully vaccinated is 2.6 per cent.
The uptake of the second dose by priority groups is as follows: Aged 58 years and above 221,527, others 212,746, health workers 122,882, teachers 105,719 while security officers are at 58,305.