The Court Suspended COVID-19 Vaccination of Schoolchildren.
The government is not permitted to give COVID-19 vaccines to kids nationwide, according to the High Court.
The Ministry of Health is not allowed to conduct the exercise, according to orders from Justice Antony Mrima.
Until the case is heard and decided, schools, churches, and mosques are also prohibited from requiring vaccinations of children and people under 18.
“A conservatory order be and is hereby issued prohibiting the respondents, their respective Agencies or departments, their servants, agents, employees or anyone acting at their behest and direction, from administering any COVID-19 vaccines on children in schools across Kenya, in churches, in mosques, or other such like places of religious worship and from demanding the vaccination with COVID-19 vaccines of children and persons under the age of 18 years, until further court orders,” ordered the judge.
In the lawsuit they have filed, activists contend that it is unlawful for the government to require vaccinations for children in schools or churches.
They contend that there is a serious risk that young people attending churches and children enrolled in schools will be forced to receive injections that have permanent negative effects on their health.
They claimed that despite parents’ lack of written consent, the substances were allegedly misbranded as medical vaccines.
According to court documents, the health ministry informed Kenyans through the media on June 11 that COVID-19 vaccinations would be administered in churches, schools, and workplaces.
According to court documents, schools, churches, and workplaces are not designated or gazetted as health facilities or hospitals.
“For the Ministry of Health to administer Covid-19 vaccines to school-going children, who are healthy in such medically non-designated learning facilities and worship places.”
In addition, they contend that article 18(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that no one shall be subject to coercion that would restrict their freedom to practice or adopt a religion or belief of their choice.
They also contend that since many young people regularly attend churches alone, their parents won’t have given their permission.
Schools are acknowledged as exclusive learning environments in Kenya where parents are not permitted to accompany their children, and they are not medical facilities, they claimed.
They claim that administering vaccines without parental consent circumvents and supersedes the legal requirement that parents and guardians provide their consent.
They contended that the Ministry of Health’s actions were unethical, unlawful, egregious, and amounted to the exploitation of these children.
Return of facemasks
In places where masks are required, such as offices, public transportation, churches, and supermarkets, violators face up to a Ksh.20,000 fine or six months in jail.
This comes after the requirement that face masks be worn at all indoor meetings was reinstated as a containment measure to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the nation after the most recent spike.
As Kenya joins the rest of the world in stepping up its fight against a fresh wave of coronavirus cases, health cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe stated on Monday that the return of masks is essential to slow a wave of infections.
The positivity rate in Kenya, which measures the percentage of tests that are positive, reached 14.5 percent on Saturday. On March 11, when Kenya loosened regulations like the wearing of masks, it had reached a low of 0.3 percent.
According to the Ministry of Health, the positivity rate increased to 12.6% yesterday after declining to 9.9% on Sunday.
“The mandatory wearing of face masks in open public spaces where one is not in close proximity to another remains optional, “said Mr. Kagwe in a press briefing.
According to regulations published in 2020 at the start of COVID-19, anyone in Kenya found in public without a mask faces arrest, six months in jail, a further fine of Sh20,000, or both.
The rules state that a person who violates them is subject to a fine of up to 20,000 shillings, up to six months in jail, or both, depending on the severity of the offense.
On March 11, Kenya lifted its COVID-19 restrictions, which included a ban on sizable indoor gatherings like religious services and demand that arriving air travelers show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
Face masks are no longer required in public, and all quarantine measures for confirmed COVID-19 cases are halted with immediate effect. Kenyans were still urged to adhere to public health precautions like handwashing and social seclusion.
As more people have received COVID vaccinations, hospitalizations from COVID-19 have remained constant.
5,651 people have already passed away due to complications related to the coronavirus, according to data from the Ministry of Health.
With 8.58 million Kenyans fully immunized as of Sunday, an increase from 7.8 million on March 11, the rising infection rates are occurring against a background of increased COVID-19 immunization.
“Those who have not been vaccinated should do so immediately. Those who have been vaccinated and need a booster shot should do so immediately,” Kagwe noted.
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The World Health Organization classifies a nation as high risk if the positivity rate exceeds 5% and suggests that nations think about enacting restrictive measures like lockdowns if it continues to exceed the limit for at least 14 days.
Since June 2 or the previous 18 days, the positivity rate has remained above the 5% threshold.
Additionally, the WHO advises governments to step up containment efforts if hospital admissions and ICU stays rise over a period of two weeks and COVID-19 deaths decline over a period of three weeks.
The CS urged the public to abide by the mask mandate in closed spaces, citing the lingering cold season and an increase in COVID-19 cases as reasons.
Like other economies, Kenya was affected by the pandemic as restrictions to stop the coronavirus’s spread decreased revenues and stunted development.
In 2020, economic output decreased by -0.3% from 5.0% in 2019 for the first time in nearly three decades.
Growth picked up in 2021 and accelerated to grow at a 7.5% rate, the fastest rate in 11 years.