Amnesty International says its wrong to  Deny Unvaccinated Kenyans Services

Amnesty International says its wrong to Deny Unvaccinated Kenyans Services

BY UPESI WRITTER,NAIROBI, 23RD DEC,2021-Amnesty International Kenya has reiterated its position that locking out Kenyans from essential services is counterproductive terming the move a violation of basic constitutional rights of Kenyans.

The human rights agency stated that the Ministry of Health emphasis on the enforcement of its vaccine mandate guidelines will not address remaining pockets of public skepticism.

This statement came a day after the Ministry of Health maintained that COVID-19 vaccination proof will be mandatory to access all public places including bars, hotels, parties, conferences, sports, supermarkets as well as when seeking government services.

Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irungu Houghton said in statement Thursday that rather than coercing Kenyans to get vaccinated, government can expand strategic information and vaccination points at all transport hubs, bus stops, airports, places of worship among other places.

“We remind the Government of Kenya, businesses and the public that on 14th December 2021, the High Court suspended the “no jab no service” directives terming it “unconstitutional”. This judgement opens the door for individual legal suits by members of the public against any establishment that seeks to lockout Kenyans from public or private services,” he said.

He added that the legal and practical difficulties of implementing the guidelines do not remove the threat posed by COVID-19.

Houghton said to boost vaccination, medical unions, professional and student associations can urgently train and enroll volunteer community health workers to expand public distribution.

He added that politicians must desist from holding large rallies and support the vaccination drive to protect the lives of their supporters and future voters.

Amnesty International Kenya CEO expressed its optimism over the availability 23,879,920 vaccines in the country which he said will vaccinate millions of Kenyans.

“However, we are concerned that public uptake remains low, with 13.7 per cent of the adult population being fully vaccinated. We are further concerned that the infection rate has also reached an all-time high of 29.6 per cent,” he said.

On Wednesday, Health Cabinet Administrative Secretary (CAS) Mercy Mwangangi said that the health ministry had managed to dispense 9.2 million vaccines.

“Over 5.4 million people aged 18 years and above have received their first dose, while 3.7 million of those aged 18 years and above are fully vaccinated,” she said.

She added that the ministry had also managed to vaccinate 13,845 people aged between 15 to 18 years with the Pfizer vaccine for their first dose.

“With the increase in infections following the onset of Omicron variant, we still find those vaccinated performing better against the disease. This means we need all adults in the country vaccinated in the shortest time possible to ensure we have many people protected against severe disease,” she added.

The CAS added that all visitors, tourists, travelers from Europe, must be fully vaccinated and show proof of vaccination before entry into the country.

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