Informer East Africa accepts donations to continue delivering daily news to you.

Donation Amount. Min £2

Kenya’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout has been mired by allegations of bribery, line cutting and corruption that have left poor and elderly citizens waiting in long queues outside public hospitals even as the country grapples with a third wave of infections and deaths.

Meanwhile, hundreds of well-connected Kenyans are paying anything up to $100 to secretly receive early inoculations, as documented through eyewitness accounts by various Kenyans online and news coverage in Kenyan and international media.

Kenya Receives Over 1M doses of AstraZeneca vaccine

In early March, Kenya procured over 1 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access initiative, a World Health Organization-backed global vaccine distribution effort known as COVAX. The delivery marked the start of a campaign to offer the vaccine free of charge at select public and private hospitals. The rollout was broken down into three phases: healthcare workers and security and immigration officials, citizens over age 58 and adults with certain medical conditions, and other citizens in vulnerable conditions such as those living in informal settlements. The country is set to receive 24 million doses through COVAX. It plans to vaccinate 50 percent of the population by June 2022 through a combination of COVAX vaccines and donations from other countries, reports The Washington Post. 

In a press release, UNICEF Representative to Kenya Maniza Zaman celebrated the arrival of the first vaccines in Kenya. “With the arrival of these vaccines, UNICEF and partners are honouring the promise of the COVAX facility to ensure people from less wealthy countries are not left behind in the global rollout of life-saving vaccines,” she said.

However, this elaborately planned three-phase rollout fell apart as soon as the exercise began because of a last-minute government decision to fast-track phase two in response to the third wave, conflicting politically charged interests, and the state’s failure to consult and inform citizens.

In his article questioning what is going on with Kenya’s COVID-19 vaccine drive, Patrick Gathara, a Nairobi-based writer and award-winning political cartoonist noted:

Politicians loudly and self-servingly argued that they should be given priority to inspire confidence among the population, even though the Ministry of Health was reporting encountering little resistance. Because the state had ignored the need to explain its plan to the population, there was widespread confusion about where and when people were expected to be in line.

Despite government directives prioritizing citizens over the age of 58, Kenyan media reported that businessmen and politicians not in this age group have found a way to get the jab early, exposing the country's rich-poor divide.

Meanwhile, eligible senior citizens and poor Kenyans, who aren't well connected and don't have money to pay a bribe, often wait in line all day starting at 5 a.m., only to be asked to return the following day because the doses are finished, according to The Washington Post.

“They have another door for their friends,” Mary Njoroge, 58, one of the teachers, told The Washington Post. “Without a godfather to help you through this process, what are you supposed to do?”

A similar incident in another government hospital was reported by @_Sativa, a Twitter user based in Nairobi, Kenyan. In a Twitter thread, he recounted the experience of his aunt, a retired teacher in her 60s. While elderly people waited in line, a nurse called out names and young people came to the front to get vaccinated. When his aunt asked what was happening, the nurse gave her a number where she could send money, he said in his Twitter thread.

Following reports of increased enthusiasm from the public for the vaccination campaign, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi Kagwe told the media:

I think somewhere along the line we seem to have developed some confusion that anybody can walk into a vaccination centre and get vaccines. I want to make it very clear, those carrying out vaccination will have to account for every dose that they have used and that dose that they have used must be matched against an eligible person.

The National Nurses Association of Kenya president Alfred Obengo pleaded with Kenyans who are not on the priority list to avoid queuing for the vaccine.

In providing clarity on how the Kenyan government could have avoided this confusion in its rollout plan, Gathara concludes his article by saying:

Much of this could have been avoided if the Kenyan government and its global partners, including the World Health Organization and Western governments, treated Kenyans as partners in the rollout rather than colonial subjects to be brutalised and exploited. Sadly for Kenyans, their colonial state does not know how to act any differently. By Njeri Wangari, Global Voices

About IEA Media Ltd

Informer East Africa is a UK based diaspora Newspaper. It is a unique platform connecting East Africans at home and abroad through news dissemination. It is a forum to learn together, grow together and get entertained at the same time.

To advertise events or products, get in touch by info [at] informereastafrica [dot] com or call +447957636854.
If you have an issue or a story, get in touch with the editor through editor[at] informereastafrica [dot] com or call +447886544135.

We also accept donations from our supporters. Please click on "donate". Your donations will go along way in supporting the newspaper.

Get in touch

Our Offices

London, UK
+44 7886 544135
editor (@)
Slough, UK
+44 7957 636854
info (@)

Latest News

Uganda: Rights Group Claims Company Intimidates Communities Along Tanzania-Uganda Oil Pipeline

Uganda: Rights Group...

 The French oil company TotalEnergies coerces and intimidates communities affected by the $5 billion...

Salvation Army responds to latest proposals for Rwanda plan

Salvation Army respo...

THE Salvation Army remains greatly concerned about the Government’s plans to remove asylum seekers...

China says US veto on Gaza cease-fire 'disappointing and regrettable'

China says US veto o...

China on Saturday said the US vetoing a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate huma...

EACC To Charge Mandago Over The Finland Scholarship Saga After DPP Nod

EACC To Charge Manda...

The Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) says it has received the go ahead from the Director...

For Advertisement

Big Reach

Informer East Africa is one platform for all people. It is a platform where you find so many professionals under one umbrella serving the African communities together.

Very Flexible

We exist to inform you, hear from you and connect you with what is happening around you. We do this professionally and timely as we endeavour to capture all that you should never miss. Informer East Africa is simply news for right now and the future.

Quality News

We only bring to you news that is verified, checked and follows strict journalistic guidelines and standards. We believe in 1. Objective coverage, 2. Impartiality and 3. Fair play.

Banner & Video Ads

A banner & video advertisement from our sponsors will show up every once in a while. It keeps us and our writers coffee replenished.