Civil servants in West Pokot County jammed the Kapenguria County Referral Hospital for the ongoing vaccination exercise, with majority of them expressing fear of being disciplined by their employer if they failed to do so.
A spot-check by KNA Monday revealed that most of those who were showing up for the first dose were trying to beat the deadline, noting that those who would have not been vaccinated will face unspecified disciplinary action.
The team conducting the vaccination exercise was compelled to work beyond 5pm, having a difficult time in controlling the crowds that had surged at the facility.
According to the working hours’ schedule displayed at the centre, the vaccination is supposed to run from 8.30am to 3.30pm from Monday to Friday, but owing to the long queues experienced, the exercise went on past 6pm.
“All our data entry clerks have had a very busy day, with each being engaged the whole day unlike other days,” said a member of the team who sought anonymity.
Residents are appealing to the government to consider establishing more vaccination centres, noting that the current ones cannot effectively serve the number of residents willing to get immunized.
“Some of us have been forced to incur so much in travel costs to get here. West Pokot is a vast county with numerous travel challenges. Some of us could have turned up for the jab earlier, but we couldn’t manage because of transport logistics,” said Mary Chepkech.
Chepkech said she had to forego the daily routine to have the jab since it was the last day as per the government ultimatum.
Meanwhile, the high turn-up of civil servants for the jab has motivated other members of the public to opt for the vaccination.
They said the apathy among government officials was mounting great suspicion, hence they could not support the government appeal for people to get vaccinated.
“To avoid overcrowding in the few vaccination centres as well as encouraging members of the public to turn up in large numbers, the exercise should be decentralized to ward level. Many people are willing to get the jab but they are discouraged by travel costs to the vaccination centres,” argued John Loiloi.