Kenyan Doctor Among First to Get Covid-19 Vaccine in US

  • A Kenyan-born and trained doctor was among the health care professionals who got the much anticipated Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine that was rolled out in the United States on Monday, December 14.   

    Dr. Stella Ogake, a pulmonary and critical care specialist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre in Colombus, Ohio emotionally exclaimed that the vaccine allayed her fears of getting the virus and infecting her family.

    "I feel great. I just got the vaccine, it was not painful at all. I do not know how I am going to feel in the next few hours, but I feel good.

    Dr Stella Ogake during an interview with CNN
    Dr Stella Ogake during an interview with CNN

    "For us who are on the front line taking care of these patients, it is such a moment of hope because we can see the light. We can see the end of this pandemic," Ogake stated in an interview with CNN.

    Ogake studied at Moi Girls' High School, Eldoret before joining Moi University College of Health Sciences for a degree in medicine between 2002 and 2008.

    She later worked at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi before she relocated to the US.

    Ogake who is also an assistant professor of internal medicine in pulmonary and critical care at Wexner, noted that her work in the ICU had been overwhelming over the past couple of months.

    The roll-out of the vaccine gives priority to healthcare workers as the US passes 300,000 Covid-19 deaths.

    Top health officials had already issued a warning that daily new deaths might not slow for months, even with a vaccine.

    In Kenya, reports indicate that the country has ordered 24 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine enough to cover 20 percent of the country's population at a cost of Ksh10 billion.

    The request for the vaccine was submitted to the Global Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) by the Ministry of Health.

    Though the arrival of the vaccine is expected early next year, there is no specific timeframe given.

    An image of a Covid-19 vaccine
    A woman holds a small bottle labelled with a "Vaccine Covid-19" sticker taken on April 10, 2020.