The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has launched a vaccination programme for all teachers in Kenya. The exercise will target 330,671 teachers in public schools and 158,000 teachers in private schools.The Commission launched the teachers’ covid -19 vaccination program on Thursday. While taking the vaccine, Commission Secretary, Dr Nancy Macharia, called on teachers to take advantage of this exercise.
This exercise comes a few days to the official commencement of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams.
According to Dr. Macharia, a total of 489,672 public and private school teachers will receive the Covid-19 jab. The drive will prioritize teachers aged 50 and above. Dr. Macharia was the first one to get the jab during the launch at TSC headquarters in Upper Hill, Nairobi. Other TSC officials and teachers will receive the vaccine as from Monday.
Macharia said there are currently 15,000 teachers who are aged 58 years and above; adding that the Commission will collect and provide the data of all teachers aged 50 years and above.
She urged the government to also consider vaccinating all teachers once more vaccines are available. Dr Macharia also called on the Ministry of Health to consider the 227,679 teachers (Centre Mangers, Supervisors and Invigilators) who will be involved in the administration of the upcoming national exams for vaccination.
The government has given priority to teachers across the country in administering the Covid-19 vaccination. Teachers have been classified as frontline workers the same way with health workers in view of the Covid-19 pandemic due to their daily interaction with many learners.
Speaking in Laikipia on Tuesday January 12, 2021 Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industrialisation Lawrence Karanja added that the government would take care of the medical expenses of any teacher who might get infected with Covid-19.
“The government has made it clear that in the event any teacher gets Covid-19 which requires medical attention which may lead to hospitalization, all the expenses will be taken care of by the state, Karanja said after touring Lairagwan primary school in Laikipia North constituency.
“There is a genuine fear that learners could easily transmit Covid-19 to teachers who are mostly aged or could be having preexisting medical conditions making them vulnerable whereas the children could be asymptomatic carriers of the virus, that is why we have classified them as frontline workers against the disease,” he had said.
Kenya joins other African states like Angola Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Rwanda which have all started rolling out COVID-19 vaccines this week through COVAX vaccination by starting with health workers, teachers and people most at risk.
Already 44 teachers have so far succumbed to Covid-19 related complications since the outbreak of the virus in March last year. This according to the latest statistics from TSC.
Dr. Macharia called on teachers to embrace the vaccination and turn out in large numbers for the jab. She thanked the government for classifying teachers as front-line workers.
“We are grateful to the government for recognising teachers as frontline workers. With the vaccination, teachers will be able to attend to learners more confidently,” She said.
The government has established 575 vaccination posts across the counties where all frontline workers will access the vaccine. Also established is the ‘Chanjo Kenya platform’ where teachers and other front-line workers can pre-register before going for the vaccination.