NAIROBI, KENYA – Following the revelation on anti-vaccine websites that global health organizations are lacing tetanus vaccines with anti-fertility hormones, thousands of Kenyan women lined up for hours hoping to receive dwindling supplies of the vaccine.
Many of the women cannot afford oral contraceptives and have partners who refuse to wear condoms. As such, they believe the vaccine is their best hope to prevent having numerous children.
“I already have 7 children,” said 28 year-old Nekema Mutumbo. “I cannot afford to have any more. I know that the authorities deny the tetanus vaccine will sterilize me, but since my husband will not protect me, the vaccine is my best hope. I waited in line 10 hours for it yesterday, only to have them run out. I pray that I can get the vaccine today.”
Firm denials by the World Health Organization only seemed to strengthen the belief of many of the women.
“Of course they deny it will make us infertile,” said Mrs. Mutumbo. “If they confirmed that it did this, women would be attacking the workers to get the vaccine.”