Raila says he is ready to take Covid-19 vaccine in public

ODM party leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday stated that he is ready to take the Covid-19 vaccine in public once it is approved.

Speaking during an interview on KTN News, Raila acknowledged that several tests have to be conducted to ensure the vaccines are fit for use, and once that is done he will not hesitate to participate in the exercise.

“If this vaccine is proven to be safe for use, there is no reason why I will not be ready…if it will help to encourage our people to take it in order to contain this pandemic,” he said.

In recent weeks, former US Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton said they would volunteer to get their Covid-19 vaccines on camera to promote public confidence in the safety of the vaccines once the US Food and Drug Administration authorizes one.

According to CNN, Freddy Ford, Bush’s chief of staff, said that the 43rd President had reached out to Dr. Anthony Fauci — the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the nation’s top infectious disease expert — and Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, to see how he could help promote the vaccine.

“A few weeks ago President Bush asked me to let Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx know that, when the time is right, he wants to do what he can to help encourage his fellow citizens to get vaccinated,” Ford told CNN. “First, the vaccines need to be deemed safe and administered to the priority populations. Then, President Bush will get in line for his, and will gladly do so on camera.”

Clinton’s press secretary Angel Urena also confirmed that he (Clinton) would take the vaccine in a public setting while Obama, during an interview with SiriusXM host Joe Madison said he is willing to take it.

“People like Anthony Fauci, who I know, and I’ve worked with, I trust completely,” Obama said. “So, if Anthony Fauci tells me this vaccine is safe, and can vaccinate, you know, immunize you from getting Covid, absolutely, I’m going to take it.”

“I promise you that when it’s been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it,” he said.

Asked whether the government has handled the pandemic well, Odinga said Covid-19 caught the world unaware and most countries were not prepared.

He, however, lauded the quick response in containing the spread of the virus in Kenya.

“They did their best but they could have done better. On a scale of 1-10 I would give them a seven,” he said.

Odinga was also questioned about how health workers have been handled in recent months and he said the government has a responsibility to protect them.

He added that he was misquoted when he asked doctors to go back to work, stating that as much as medics have demands, they should also look at the government’s ability to meet those needs.

The ODM leader was castigated for pushing the BBI instead of championing the rights of medics especially as Kenya battles a pandemic.

“I did not vilify them…lives of innocent Kenyans risk being lost. I just told them to sympathise with Kenyans as they made their demands,” he said.

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