Lodwar, 29th March 2021 (By Governor’s Press Service)— Governor Josphat Nanok and the County First Lady Margaret Nanok have today received their first dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

In a move aimed at driving public confidence in the vaccination drive, the Governor led senior County Government staff including Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro in taking the jab. Turkana East MP Ali Lokiru was also vaccinated.

Speaking after the vaccination, the Governor announced that he was feeling fine and urged frontline workers- health personnel, security and enforcement officers as well as people above 50years, to take advantage of the first phase of vaccination to protect themselves against the deadly virus.

“I have just been vaccinated along with the First Lady, CECs and Chief Officer, we have not felt any pain in fact the yellow fever vaccine is more painful and hope to get the second dose in 8 weeks. We encouraged more frontline workers and all above 50 years with high exposure of the virus to take the vaccine” he said.

He revealed that over 250 frontline workers had been vaccinated in the first phase with the County Government receiving 9000 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Governor expressed hope that more will heed the call to take the vaccine and encourage continued adherence to preventive protocols set by the Ministry of Health. They include wearing face masks in public, ban of public gathering and hygiene.

Explaining the decision for political leaders and Government officials to take the vaccine, Governor Nanok said the move was meant to build confidence after poor reception by frontline workers in the first phase of vaccination which targeted essential service providers among them health personnel, members of security forces and enforcement officers.

He announced that the County Government had directed that half of County staff work from home, in a bid to reduce congestion in government offices.

The decision comes in the wake of the a deadly third wave of Covid-19 infection sweeping across Kenya, with the Governor revealing that most of the infections reported in Turkana were from Kakuma refugee camp.

In the morning, CS Peter Eripete Chaired a meeting of CECs and Chief Officers to discuss Covid 19 protocols and recent presidential guidelines on the prevention of Covid 19. The meeting also received a detailed briefing from ministry of health team on the status of Covid 19 in the county and the vaccination drive.

Turkana County is now ranked number 15 in the country with 22 deaths and 1, 200 Covid 19 cases since the first case was announced last year.

The County boss urged residents to continue observing all set protocols to prevent the spread of the deadly disease.

On the drought emergency response, Governor Nanok said relief food distribution had been carried out in Turkana North, Kibish and Turkana East Sub-Counties and is expected to be rolled out in the remaining sub-counties. He said a multi-partner response was ongoing, especially to get water to residents in need.