By Mourice Seretta
Individuals vaccinated against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and are worried about developing side effects, can now acquire a Kshs2,950 health insurance cover for up to 60 days after receiving the vaccine.
AAR Insurance has introduced ‘Chanjo’ cover, the first of its kind in the market, catering for medical expenses arising from the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, with a cover limit of Ksh 500,000 for inpatient treatment.
The vaccine insurance also comes with a Ksh 500,000 last expense benefit, in partnership with Pioneer Assurance. One can sign-up for the cover via USSD and online through the AAR Insurance website.
Persons aged between 18 and 60 years are eligible for the vaccine cover but have to undergo a medical examination as per the COVID-19 vaccination guidelines should symptoms of the side effects arise.
“It is important to emphasize that the vaccines so far approved by the World Health Organization are safe. However, in the unlikely event of adverse reactions resulting in hospitalization and even death, this cover caters for treatment and last expenses incurred up to the prescribed limit”, said AAR Insurance Managing Director, Nixon Shigoli.
He added that vaccination is one of the most effective weapons in containing the pandemic by enhancing the ability of individuals to fight off the virus, thus reducing risk of severe illness.
“We are encouraging Kenyans to get vaccinated as a way of protecting themselves and those close to them from COVID-19. However, since it is not possible to vaccinate everyone at a go, we must continue adhering to other preventive measures in place”, added Shigoli.
“Our role as a life insurer in to provide a last expense cover in the event of death within 60 days after vaccination.” Said Antony Watene, Marketing Manager- Special Projects, Pioneer Assurance.
The COVID-19 vaccine works by triggering the body’s immunity system to develop protection against the virus. Although adverse reactions to the vaccine are rare, according to medical experts, they vary depending on the type of vaccine. Severe symptoms may require hospitalization.
Globally, the question of compensation for side effects of COVID-19 vaccines, and whether manufacturers are liable, has not been fully resolved. This leaves health insurance as perhaps the best financial protection against medical costs arising from vaccine complications.
In early March, Kenya embarked on a COVID-19 vaccination campaign under the global COVAX program targeting health workers, security personnel, teachers and other high-risk groups.
AAR Insurance is among the leading medical underwriters in East Africa and has over 200,000 customers in Kenya.