Dr Dorothy Gwajima, the minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, said here yesterday that the move follows insufficient public response by the public to go to vaccination at the centres scattered across the country.
Initially there were 550 such centres, then raised to 1,500 vaccination centres countrywide, but now there are more than 6,000 but workers there are not as busy as they are supposed to be due to low response levels.
To counter this apathy, vaccination vans will now take the jabs to communities so that no one comes up with excuses such time spent to reach vaccination centres, she stated, handing out vehicles to be used in the exercise.
The mobile centres will be stationed or accessing health and environment activities where the public will be reminded of the importance of taking the jabs.
“Vaccines have been brought closer to residential areas, for instance there are areas ministry officials passed where the response by men to go for vaccination was bigger than for women. Upon inquiry as to the reason it was so, some people said women were faced by many domestic chores to attend to,” the minister explained.
“There should not be a person complaining that the government has not lived up to its responsibilities, or that one did not go for vaccination due to lack of bus fare. This service is provided for most of the day as any other social services, hence play your part by being vaccinated,” she urged.
A number of women have been claiming that when they finish their daily activities and go to vaccination centres they find them already closed, hence the government has decided to bring the service closer to them, she stated.
Mobile vaccination units are meant to reach our people as the government wants to protect people from the disease. Hence there shouldn’t be anyone who falls sick from the disease and then starts blaming the government, she emphasised.
Administering vaccines on mobile units will go in tandem with educating the public to make the right decisions on the matter, she stated.
Gerson Msigwa, the chief government spokesman, told reporters a fortnight ago that in the second week of September only 345,000 individuals had turned out to be vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Covid-19 vaccines donated by the United States government in July.
This meant that the government still had about 700,000 out of the 1.2 million doses donated; where upon the government widened the breadth of the target population to include those below 50 years.
Earlier the rollout focused on frontline health workers and people aged above 50 years and those with special medical conditions exposing them to debilitating effects or fatality in case of infection with the coronavirus.