All hands on deck: Government turn to private hospitals to boost Covid vaccination drive

Mercy Mawangangi (Left), CAS Ministry of Health, speaking at a press briefing today, regarding the start of the private sector led Covid-19 vaccinations initiative that is being coordinated by KEPSA. She is flanked by Carole Kariuki (Right), the KEPSA CEO.

Seven health facilities are set to help administer a single dose of Johnson & Johnson jab at no cost to boost Government efforts for the country to reach herd immunity.

Health facilities approved by the Ministry of Health to conduct the exercise include Avenue Hospital, Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital, Meridian Hospital, MP Shah Hospital, Metropolitan Hospital, Karen Hospital, and Nairobi Women’s Hospital.

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) has outlined 55 locations for vaccinations for private-sector employees, their families, and neighbouring communities. The first phase of the vaccination effort runs from September 13 to October 8, 2021. 

“All persons being vaccinated must bring their National ID or Passport to the vaccination venues. Some hospitals may require a second registration through their tracking portals, and we urge all our members to ensure their staff and dependents register using the online links that have been provided in addition to the official Ministry of Health portal before going for vaccination,” said Carole Kariuki, KEPSA Chief Executive Officer.

An anticipated 60,407 doses are expected to be administered at designated business premises of KEPSA member organizations. Grouped per hospital for efficient logistics, some of the 263 participating KEPSA member organizations who will host the vaccinations over the next four weeks include I&M Bank, Simba Corporation, Ushuru Pension, Deloitte, CarePay, and ICEA Lion.

Other participating host organizations are Osho Chemicals, M-Gas, Twiga chemicals, Twiga Foods, EABL, BAT Kenya, NCBA Bank, Absa Bank, Ecobank, Sameer Africa, KCB Bank, NBK, Cooperative Bank, Ernst & Young, Kenya Aeroclub, 4G Capital, L’Oréal, PKF Foundation, and Dalberg Research.

“This entire initiative will help accelerate the pace of vaccinations and to get us closer to herd immunity as we strive to rebuild back better. At KEPSA, we shall be hosting 15 member companies where we hope to administer 1300 doses on 15th and 16th September,” said Kariuki.

She added that phase two of the process is expected to commence in early October and focus on the counties.

Adverse effects

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, KEPSA has worked closely with the Government and other partners to cushion Kenyans and businesses, particularly Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, against the adverse effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic following a signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in May 2021, for private-sector vaccine rollout.

Under the MOU, for every employee and family member vaccinated, the participating companies will commit to meeting the costs of vaccinating up to five additional persons in the community, in the spirit of inclusivity in combating the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy, general health, and social wellbeing of Kenyans.

KEPSA, the private sector apex body, was charged with creating a coordinating mechanism, aggregating the private sector demand, and collaborating with Government and other partners on accessing the needed supplies within the shortest time possible.

The Ministry of Health is handling all vaccine procurement, storage, and distribution while the administration is being done in concert with the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council, according to the National Covid-19 Vaccination guidelines.

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