Kenya: Covid-19 Hits Unvaccinated Patients Hardest, Hospital Data Reveals

Alex Njeru/ Nation Media Group

A health worker receives the jab at Marimanti Sub-County Hospital (file photo).

26 AUGUST 2021

The Nation (Nairobi)

By Hellen Shikanda

Unvaccinated patients are taking the hardest hit from Covid-19 infections and forming the bulk of admissions in hospitals, data from a city hospital has showed.

Records collected by the Buru Buru-based Metropolitan Hospital in Nairobi since August 1 shows that nearly 90 per cent of their Covid-19 admissions are unvaccinated patients.

Dr Kanyenje Gakombe, chief executive of the hospital, yesterday told the Nation that the hospital has been keeping track of their patients' vaccination status since the beginning of this month.

Of the 113 patients who had been admitted by August 24, only ten of those had received the jab and of these only two were fully inoculated.

"As we test people for coronavirus, we ask them to disclose their vaccination status and then we compare two data points in regards to admissions of the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated," said Dr Gakombe.

"In our hospital, no one who has been fully vaccinated has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. The unvaccinated, on the other hand, are the ones that present with severe infections to the point of needing oxygen," he added.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday released a study that showed that unvaccinated people are 29 times more likely to be hospitalised with severe Covid-19 disease.

The CDC study, which was conducted between May 1 and July 25 in Los Angeles, California, showed that only about five per cent of the fully vaccinated contracted the disease amid the Delta variant surge.

Delta variant

"These data indicate that authorised vaccines protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe Covid-19, even with increased community transmission of the newly predominant Delta variant," the CDC study concluded.

The CDC advised that there should be efforts to ramp up Covid-19 vaccination coverage, syncing it with other prevention strategies such as masking, social distancing and hand washing.

Kenya's Health ministry yesterday said that it has set up a monitoring and evaluation team, working with epidemiologists from the University of Nairobi, to come up with a national database of Covid-19 hospitalisations of the vaccinated and those yet to receive the jab.

In a journalists' round-table meeting, National Covid-19 vaccines Task Force chair, Dr Willis Akhwale, said the database will link the Chanjo-Ke system to the Kenya Health Information System.

In a Twitter post, reacting to the data from the Metropolitan Hospital, Dr Nelly Yatich, an epidemiologist, said the data is proof that people should get the Covid-19 jab.

"Good breakdown right here. Would be nice to know days since vaccination for those who received 1st or 2nd doses. Bottom line, Get vaccinated!" said Dr Yatich.

However, some experts that the Nation spoke to took a back seat, awaiting more comprehensive national data.

"Until we have a more comprehensive set of data and analysis, I wouldn't be too quick to jump into conclusions about the efficacy of the vaccines in our local scenario," said Dr Ahmed Kalebi, a consultant pathologist.

Read the original article on Nation.

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