Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe is a man underfire.
Appearing before the Senate’s Health Committee on Wednesday, November 11, Kagwe expressed his reservations over Pfizer Inc’s breakthrough in the fight against the COVID-19.
According to the former Nyeri Senator, the whole world should not be comfortable with a vaccine, let alone one that is just on the initial trials stage.
In a bid to put across a point that the public should not sit pretty but judiciously adhere to the COVID-19 measures, Kagwe blundered when he said he does not understand why someone “will be injected with a disease that stops you from getting the virus.”
“I have got my doubts about the vaccine because we are talking about a disease that stops people from getting the virus. I would like to know how they knew in the first place that I was going to get the virus,” questioned Kagwe, whose Minsitry has come under fire due to the multi-billion KEMSA scandal.
Kenyans on Twitter took to the microblogging site to express their anger and distaste towards Kagwe’s sentiments.
Some users could not fathom how a full cabinet minister incharge of health matters could not grasp the simple concept of viruses and their vaccines.
@Jumaf3 noted, “Mutahi Kagwe, a whole Minister of Health, paid by your taxes, loudly, without fear or shame, on a national television, wonders how one should be given a Covid-19 vaccine without an assurance that they will get Covid-19 in the first place. As in, REALLY? REAAALY?”
Another twitter user alleged that perhaps the CS is not happy with a COVID-19 vaccine because that would mean no COVID-19 allowances for MoH officials.
@Lizzie_K_ opined, “Covid-19 is a blessing in disguise for Mutahi Kagwe, daily briefings that is free publicity for him, Daily allowances and 4 million tea and you expect him to celebrate discovery of vaccine.”
@ItsKiprotich1 could not help but wonder how Kagwe introduced a policy to curb the spread of Coronavirus in the county, only to go against it today.
“Mutahi Kagwe said, “If you say vaccine will prevent me from getting the virus, how do you know I’ll get the virus?” Does he even listen to himself?? He is the same person who told us ‘I can Gerrit, you can Gerrit.”
COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough?
On Monday, November 9, Pfizer Inc announced a major breakthrough in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic after saying that its PFE.N experimental COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective based on initial trial results.
Scientists, public health officials, and investors have so far welcomed the first successful interim data from a large-scale clinical test, banking on the vaccine to help suppress the pandemic.
Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE 22UAy.F said they had found no serious safety concerns yet and expected to seek U.S. emergency use authorization this month, raising the chance of a regulatory decision as soon as December.
If granted, the companies estimate they can roll out up to 50 million doses this year, enough to protect 25 million people, and then produce up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.