#Editorial

On 1st tranche of COVID-19 vaccines in Gambia!

Mar 3, 2021, 9:46 AM

The entire world is united in facing the emergency of the coronavirus disease also known as COVID-19 pandemic. It’s like the globe is at war, but together against a common enemy.

As the global race intensifies to find a common solution to global public health concern, The Gambia is currently in receipt of its first shipment of 36,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility.

It comes amid global rush by nations to get enough dose for its citizens.

These Astra Zeneca vaccines were shipped by UNICEF on behalf of COVAX, from the Serum Institute of India (SII), and arrived at the Banjul International Airport on Tuesday night.

We therefore commend UNICEF and its partners for the gesture. Their efforts will go a great deal in saving life and property.

However, what is indeed worrying in this battle is that, health-care workers and researchers fight back against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) threat from the clinic and the laboratory.

With the arrival of this consignment, The Gambia now joins other African countries, such as Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire and Angola, to recently receive COVID-19 vaccines under the COVAX Facility. But there is need for behavioural change if the country is going to make any inroads in containing further spread of the virus.

The question that lingers in mind now is how these covid-19 doses are going to be implemented. The Gambia has a population of about 2 million people. Is the ministry going to prioritise who really need the vaccine?.

Suffice it to state here that this deadly virus is developing into variances, as nations grapple to contain it.

We’ve seen the South Africa, Brazilian and UK variants. All these variants pose serious global threats. Each of these new variants is fatal and even much deadlier than the previously existing one, which nations are finding difficult to manage.

While vaccine development research continues, questions are already arising on the next steps and challenges, concerning the manufacturing, distribution, and widespread accessibility of a possible vaccine.

One thing for sure is that working immediately on large-scale production could accelerate the availability of a high-quality and safe vaccine when the right approach is pursued.

Of course, once an effective vaccine is available, it will be of upmost importance to provide affordable and accessible protection from COVID-19 for all who need it. Right now, we celebrate the efforts of scientists, doctors, and individuals working around the clock to find a solution to this pandemic.

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