President Adama Barrow and his cabinet ministers have taken the second dose of the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine. The majority of Gambians are still reluctant even to get the first dose of the vaccine.
After taking the jab, President Barrow said he is not worried that people are not taking the vaccine as expected but urges people that have taken it and the media to help sensitize the public on the importance of taking it.
Despite the high vaccine hesitancy among the population, Gambia’s use of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been so far good, with no fatality.
The Minister of Health Ahmed Lamin Samateh said the importance of taking the second jab is to protect people from COVID-19. “The second jab will make the vaccine more efficacious,” he said.
He urges Gambians to get the vaccine to do so as it will protect them from this global pandemic.
President Adama Barrow took his first jab after launching the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign at State House on Wednesday on 10th March.
The launch happened a few days after the arrival of the first shipment of 36,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines delivered to The Gambia by UNICEF, thanks to the COVAX Facility. The Senegalese government also donated 10 000 doses of the Sino-Pharma COVID-19 vaccine as a solidarity gesture.
The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has been used in at least 115 countries against Covid-19, some of them for several months now. In the past month, a few cases of rare blood clotting and other complications were associated with its use, causing several countries to suspend it.
But several of those countries are well stocked with alternate vaccines. In the Gambia, though, all the available doses as of May this year are AstraZeneca. The country was expected to vaccinate about 20% of the population. But fears of the vaccine have triggered The Gambia to reach that percentage.
Latest COVID-19 Situational Report in The Gambia
The 315th COVID-19 situation report of The Gambia for the 17th May 2021 published on 19th May 2021.
- a) No new COVID-19 related death officially recorded. Total deaths since March 2020 stands at 175;
- b) 9 new COVID-19 positive cases registered bringing the total since March 2020 to 5,966;
- c) 74 active cases;
- d) No COVID-19 patients discharged from treatment centers;
- e) 5 COVID-19 patients currently on oxygen therapy;
- f) 25, 776 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 as of the 11th May 2021;
- g) 3,909 Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) conducted at the Banjul International Airport in Yundum for travelers as of the 17th May 2021.