Archbishop Muheria rubbishes statement on COVID-19 jab from Catholic doctors

Archbishop Muheria rubbishes statement on COVID-19 jab from Catholic doctors

The Catholic Church has stated that it supports the COVID-19 vaccine for Kenyans after the arrival of more than one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine into the country.

Nyeri Archbishop Anthony Muheria has dismissed an advisory by the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association which had called on Kenyans to reject the jab.

“In principle we are in favor of the vaccine, in principle we want to fight COVID-19 and it is ethical to receive those vaccines,” he said.

He was speaking during the official opening of the ICT and library complex at Mukurwe-ini Technical Training Institute on Thursday.

His pronouncement came a day after the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association issued an advisory warning Kenyans against participating in the vaccination exercise.

The association had argued that all COVID-19 the vaccines are experimental and can only reduce the risks of sever disease and death but will not stop infection or transmission of the the disease.

“It seems there is something Bill Gates has invested in that requires the whole world to be vaccinated. What that investment is remains the million-dollar question,” said Dr Stephen Karanja, the association chairman.

However, the World Health Organization said on February 11, 2021 that while the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has yet to be recommended for an Emergency Use Listing by WHO, it has undergone review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and consequently meets WHO’s criteria for SAGE consideration.

A statement on the WHO website says the EMA has thoroughly assessed the data on the quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine and has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation for people aged 18 and above.

“The Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety, a group of experts that provides independent and authoritative guidance to the WHO on the topic of safe vaccine use, receives and assesses reports of suspected safety events of potentially international impact,” WHO said.

The AZD1222 vaccine against COVID-19 has been reported to have an efficacy of 63.09% against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. Longer dose intervals within the 8 to 12 weeks range are associated with greater vaccine efficacy.

The rollout of the vaccine in Kenya begins on Friday with the first jabs expected to be given to health workers at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.


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