The integrated approach has resulted in collaborative efforts to make vaccines that include COVID-19 and HPV vaccines accessible within schools.
In Kiambani Secondary School in Kibwezi West, students were administered both the HPV and COVID-19 vaccines, showcasing the seamless integration of these two crucial health initiatives. This harmonized approach has significantly improved the efficiency of vaccine administration.
In Mukameni Secondary School, Christine Kyalo, a health worker from Mbulutini Dispensary, emphasized the importance of vaccinating teenagers. She highlighted that this age group is often overlooked, despite being highly active and potential carriers of the COVID-19 virus. Reflecting on the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in Kenya, Christine recalled the challenges faced in convincing people to accept vaccination. She expressed relief that awareness has increased, resulting in greater willingness among individuals to get vaccinated.
Despite progress, Christine acknowledged lingering vaccine resistance fueled by myths and misconceptions. To address this, she stressed the need for continuous awareness campaigns to ensure widespread acceptance of vaccination. “Overcoming resistance remains crucial in achieving comprehensive vaccine coverage.”
The VAN Project, led by PanAfricare Kenya, plays a pivotal role in the integrated approach, actively collaborating with partners in Turkana and Makueni Counties. By bringing vaccines closer to the people, this initiative aims to further enhance the reach and impact of vaccination efforts. The project signifies a concerted effort to combat vaccine hesitancy and build a resilient front against preventable diseases.