Gambia’s Covid-19 vaccination rate reaches 10%

Sep 2, 2021, 12:39 PM | Article By: Fatou Bojang

Despite the misinformation and disinformation regarding the safety of the Covid-19 vaccines, The Gambia, according to the Ministry of Health, has fully vaccinated 10% of its population.

This was disclosed at a press conference held at the Central Medical Store in Kotu. According to Health officials, their target is to vaccinate 1.4 million of the population as a way to fight the deadly Covid-19 virus that has not only killed millions in the world but has also greatly retarded development in all affected countries.

Mamanding Kinteh, senior vaccine officer, in her presentation on the Covid-19 vaccination update, said they have administered 139,367 doses of J&J, 5,682 of Sinopharm and 48,483 of the AstraZeneca Vaccine. “For Sinopharm we vaccinated 4,457 for the first dose and for the second dose we have vaccinated 1,225. For AstraZeneca, we have vaccinated for the first dose 31,271 and 17,212 for the second dose.”

The percentage of target population fully vaccinated by regions in the seven health regions is about 10.3% of the population. According to Mamanding, vaccinated in CRR is 17.8% in LRR, 11.1% in NBER, 16.0% in NBWR, 10.9% in URR, 9.5% in WR1, 7.6% in WR2 and 10.1% nationally.

She said they have two implementation strategies: fixed and mobile outreach, noting that the mobile outreach is more impactful. She added that more women are vaccinated than men going by the total doses of vaccines administered per region by sex.

“The highest among priority groups vaccinated is the community workers with 105.1%, seconded by health workers with 66.4%, hoteliers 19.8%, those aged 65 and above 17.8%, security forces 15.2%, and the least vaccinated is those with pre existing conditions with a percentage of 5.1%.

The vaccines, she added are being administered under strict supervision. “Vaccinators are not left alone. We have pool of supervisors that are frequently in the field to monitor what is happening. Though we have qualified and well trained health workers but we want to assure that vaccines are given at the highest quality.”

Sidat Fofana, programme manager, Expanded Programme on Immunization, said they have vaccinated 10% of the population and they target to vaccinate more than that, adding that their main issue with regard to the vaccination is hesitancy. “People were spreading false information and they were discouraging people from taking the vaccine.”

He added that the only thing that is going to save us is following the preventive measures and taking the vaccines, saying the country is currently using three types of vaccines which are all effective.

He encouraged people to take the vaccine especially those with pre existing conditions and the elderly.

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