Catholic Church urges members to boycott polio vaccine

The Catholic Church has told its members to boycott the polio vaccination until underlying issues are resolved.

Health Committee Chairman Paul Kariuki said the church had valid health concerns, which it wants the government to address.

The bishop of Embu Diocese said during a service Sunday that the church was not opposed to immunisation, but wanted assurance on safety.

On the other hand, the Director of Medical Services, Dr Nicholas Muraguri, maintained the vaccine is safe.

He said the drive would continue until August 5, 2015.

“Our target was 1.2 million children, but we have already surpassed the figure in the drive that started on Saturday,” he told the Nation by phone Sunday.

Bishop Kariuki asked the State to reveal the findings of tests it claimed to have conducted if it was being honest.

The cleric said the church is a major stakeholder since it owns over 40 per cent of the health facilities in Kenya.

At the same time, a Catholic priest on Friday confronted the Masaba Sub-County Assistant Chief, Mr Phanuel Nyagaka at a funeral when he announced the vaccination drive.

Fr Thomas Menge said the State owed Kenyans an explanation on the safety of the vaccine.

In a separate interview, the Reverend Victor Mose, a regional AIC administrative secretary for Nyamira and Kisii counties, said the government should be supported.