Kenya will require all those seeking in-person government services to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 from December 21, a government official said on Sunday.
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Mutahi Kagwe, Cabinet Secretary for Health told journalists in Nairobi that the strict measures follow a review of the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country and take into account the need of ensuring the country remains on track in the containment of the disease.
"All businesses serving 50 or more people will be required to put up signage requiring proof of vaccination before entry into the premise and their patrons to be fully vaccinated," Kagwe said.
The East African nation also issued a directive requiring all motor operators to be fully vaccinated and carry proof of vaccination at all times beginning December 21.
Kagwe said that individuals will also be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to gain admission into national parks, hotels, and restaurants from December 21.
He revealed that the measures are required in order to reduce the chances of a spike in COVID-19 cases during the December festivities period. According to the health ministry, a total of 6.39 million vaccines have so far been administered across the country.
He observed that in order to accelerate vaccination, the ministry will undertake a ten-day mass vaccination exercise from November 26 with the aim of administering adequate vaccines to as many people as possible.
Kagwe observed that the country's overall goal of achieving herd immunity is through vaccinating at least 30 million people before the end of next year.
"This means that beyond our adult population, we must also vaccinate the young people who in most cases though not bearing the burden of the disease are the main carriers and therefore spreaders of the virus," he added.
The health ministry will also begin a vaccination campaign from Monday for those between the age of 15 and 18 with the Pfizer vaccine following its emergency use authorization. Kagwe revealed that the government is keen to get teenagers vaccinated in order to reduce their chances of transmitting the virus.
He added that so far, the country has received 10.7 million vaccines and is scheduled to receive another 8 million doses of various vaccines. Currently 88 percent of health workers, 79 percent of teachers and 18 percent of the elderly are fully vaccinated. ■
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