The forum accords officials the opportunity to clear all doubts and misconceptions related with the AstraZeneca vaccines. The targeted groups to receive the Covid-19 jabs are health workers, teachers, and security personnel, those with underlying medical conditions like diabetes and asthma and people above 65 years.
Consequently, the first phase of the vaccination exercise will start from Western 1 and Western 2 (Banjul to Kalaji), as the region with high reported cases of Covid-19 cases.
Addressing the gathering, Buba Darboe, programme manager at the Directorate of Health Promotions and Education at the Ministry of Health, said the Ministry is faced with numerous challenges, as far as administering Covid-19 vaccines is concerned.
He acknowledged that currently there are a lot of misconceptions regarding the AstraZeneca vaccines, with some European countries suspending its administering over fears of side effects such as blood clots.
He, however, assured the populace that the vaccines are safe and effective.
“Stakeholders can only help us to break the barriers by sensitising the people through their various platforms. We target to immunize 60% of the population. We have experts in and out of the country that advised us about how to go about with the vaccines. If there was any health implications, they will never advise us to go ahead with the vaccination exercise.” He explained
Darboe maintained that there are many vaccines but they choose AstraZeneca vaccine because it is fast advanced in the patent, adding that they have technical advice from experts both in the country and abroad that it is ‘safe and effective’.
He thanked the media and stakeholders for always supporting the Ministry in the campaign, thereby educating the public on the misconceptions people have as far as administering of the vaccine.