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Health Expert Says Current COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign Targets All

By Ousainou J. Sawaneh

Director of Health Promotion and Education, Modou Njai in a release on the COVID-19 vaccination campaign across the country said the goal of this campaign is to vaccinate all eligible individuals from the age of 12 years and above.

As an additional measure to stop rapidly increasing spread of COVID-19 virus in the country, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with partners recently embark on another round of a countrywide COVID-19 vaccination campaign which started on the 11th August 2022.

‘‘Despite significant gains in the reduction of COVID-19 cases, the pandemic continues to be one of the biggest challenges in the last two years’’ he said.

He further call on everyone to unite and overcome this devastating public health threat as no one is safe until we are all safe.

According to the Ministry of Health, the campaign is part of the Gambia government’s strategy to scale up COVID-19 vaccination coverage to 70% of the population by end of the year.

Gambians from different parts of the country hailed the COVID-19 Vaccines while describing it as effective and safe.

Bakary Jassey, Resident of Bijilo, who took Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Batch Number 209C21A gives inspiring words saying that people should know that there is hope in the COVID-19 vaccine.

‘‘I took the Johnson & Johnson vaccine since last year August, COVID-19 Vaccination is absolutely save’’

Jassey added that ‘‘I used to doubt about getting vaccinated because of a lot of misleading conspiracy theories I heard about COVID-19 vaccine. After seeing some of my family members taking the Jab and nothing happens to them. I was convince to get vaccinated’’ he said.

The 41 year old said he has not experienced any serious side effects after taking the vaccine, ‘‘COVID-19 is real and the only way we can curb COVID-19 is to be Vaccinated’’.

Mariama Sawaneh a resident of Abuko, who took the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, Johnson & Johnson vaccine Batch Number 209C21A describes the covid-19 vaccination as very effective and save while calling on the Gambians to get the vaccine.

“At some point in time, I felt that I had COVID-19 because I could feel that my system was so weak that I couldn’t do anything. But when I took the vaccine, I felt like I am back to life because it got rid of all the bad feelings” she said.

Demba Bojang, a native of Bonto Village, who took AstraZeneca said ‘‘despite all the misconception regarding the vaccine, I have not experience any sight effect as to what many were attributing the vaccine. I took it because I’m concern of my health and since then I’ve not experience anything abnormality’’ he said.

Bojang urged Gambians not to listen to the misconceptions attached to the vaccine while encouraging them to get the vaccine as it is very safe, ‘‘i encourage people to go and take the vaccine to reduce the spread of the virus. We can only overcome this pandemic only if we adhere to the advice of the health experts’’ he said.

A 13 year old girl also said she was convince by her mother that’s why she took the vaccine.

‘‘my mother took the vaccine and also encourage me to take it as well. I feel comfortable taking it because I believe my mother will not tell me to take something that is not good. The vaccine is safe because I have not experience any serious problems’’ she said

She further encourage the young ones to take the vaccine.

According to the ministry of health, a total number of 354 thousand Gambians are fully vaccinated including the head of state who took the covid-19 vaccine in early 2021.

The Ministry of Health is soliciting the continuous support and cooperation of the general public in its efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The public is encouraged to call the Ministry’s toll-free number 1025 for more information regarding the vaccination campaign.

This story was produced with support from Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), through its Mobilizing Media in the Fight Against COVID-19 in partnership with Kaba Communication and The Daily News.

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