Kenyan anti-vaccine doctor dies from Covid-19 | Sunday Observer

Kenyan anti-vaccine doctor dies from Covid-19

2 May, 2021

A Kenyan doctor who became a vociferous opponent of the Covid-19 vaccine has succumbed to the virus, weeks after saying the jab was “totally unnecessary”.

Dr Stephen Karanja, chairman of the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association, advocated steam inhalation and hydroxychloroquine tablets.

He clashed with the Catholic Church over the safety of the Covid jabs. Health authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO) rejected his claims. “The vaccine being distributed in Kenya, has been reviewed and found safe not only by the WHO rigorous process but also by several stringent regulatory authorities,” the WHO said in March. The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops also distanced itself from Dr. Karanja’s view on the Covid-19 vaccines, saying the vaccines were “licit and ethically acceptable.”

Kenya received just over a million vaccine doses from the global Covax initiative, most of which have been administered. The country has confirmed more than 160,000 cases and 2,707 deaths. In March, the government imposed another lockdown restricting movement in five counties after a surge in new infections.

In a letter dated March 3, Dr Karanja said, “There are drugs that have been repurposed and used effectively to treat Covid-19,” adding that “We also know that vaccination for this disease is totally unnecessary making the motivation suspect.”

He went on in different forums to advocate alternative treatments, including steam inhalation and a cocktail of drugs - including hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin, which have not been approved by the WHO to treat Covid-19.

Dr. Karanja who was an obstetrician and gynaecologist, died on Thursday a week after he was admitted to hospital suffering from complications caused by a Covid-19 infection.Before falling out with the Catholic church in Kenya about the safety and efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine, Dr Karanja often allied with the religious leaders to oppose mass vaccination campaigns.

In 2019, he led opposition against vaccination of schoolgirls against cervical cancer, saying the jab against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) was unnecessary because it affected those “whose lifestyle involves irresponsible sexual behaviour.” - BBC