Writing on social media, Kipkorir said it cost him almost Ksh4 million in treatment when she contracted COVID-19 last November. The lawyer was hospitalised at Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi.
“When I got COVID-19 in the first week of November 2020, I begun a three-month journey through a dark tunnel,” he writes on Twitter. “My lungs collapsed. I was gasping for air. I was on oxygen. I lost my voice. I was treated through IV. I was in solitary isolation for nearly a month. When I removed the oxygen to go to the bathroom that was hardly a meter away, it was like was drowning.”
Based on his experience, Kipkorir is dumbfounded that the Ministry of Health has given the Russian-made Sputnik V a cold shoulder. The government is instead favouring the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine developed in the UK. According to the medical journal The Lancet, Sputnik V offers about 92% protection against COVID-19, compared to AstraZeneca’s 75%.
“Let Kenyans get any COVID-19 vaccine they can get, whether from GoK or private sector,” added Kipkorir. “Unless we reach Herd-Immunity by vaccinating 70% of our population, our country will remain under lockdown. In future, you won’t travel out of the Country unless you have been vaccinated.”
Sputnik V was imported by a private entity. It is being sold to discerning Kenyans. While there have been complaints that its only for the well-heeled, Kipkorir says no price is steep enough vis a vis the cost of hospitalisation.
“Paying even Kshs. 20,000 for a vaccine is worth it. You can’t compare with the cost and pain when you contract COVID-19,” he says. “It has cost me nearly Ksh4million to reach where I am now and not yet done. And there is no insurance for COVID-19. There is no cost not worth paying to avoid COVID-19.”
Kipkorir adds, “Though I am negative, I not yet fully recovered. I suffer from what is called Long-COVID.”
The Ministry of Health is yet to give a definitive position on the vaccine.