However, in this ninth round public health officials are visiting not only public places such as markets, bantabas and crossing points, but also schools targeting children aged 12 and above.
However, as public health officials criss-cross during this ninth round of the nationwide vaccination against Covid-19, what is critical is change of perception towards these vaccines to help a great deal in meeting the target of 70% vaccination coverage.
Musa Sumareh, a student at Brikama Upper and Senior Secondary School, acknowledged that this is not his first time of taking the Covid-19 jab, saying he had taken the jab several times.
He called on other students to come forth and get vaccinated as the vaccines are safe and effective.
“I therefore call on my colleagues to come out in their numbers to take the jab. Taking these vaccines is for our own safety,” he said.
Areta Mendy, a desk officer at Brikama District Hospital, said that since the commencement of the campaign, they have conducted series of sensitization to get more people vaccinated.
“In the community we have been doing sensitization but most of our coverage are coming from the schools,” Mendy said. “Because we would talk to cluster monitors, who would talk with school head teachers and arrange for meetings. But as of Thursday, our coverage was very good because we’ve recorded 591 for both the Pfizer and Johnson’s and Johnson’s doses.”
Mendy explained that since the advent of Covid-19 they have been vaccinating the populace and people are aware, saying Covid-19, which has been with humanity few years now, has come to stay.
“Because sometimes we have people coming from endemic zones or affected countries. So one cannot say that Covid-19 is gone despite the ongoing vaccination against the virus.”
Also speaking, Bintou Suso, a public health officer at the Brikama District Hospital, who was seen administering the jab, said the turnout since the commencement of the exercise was “so far good”.
She informed that they are administering both Pfizer and J and J doses, further elaborating on the misconception and misinformation surrounding the virus.
“People don’t take this virus seriously and believe it still doesn’t exist. Even though we are not in the peak period as the number of cases has reduced, we are still keen on administering these vaccines to keep the country safe and protected.”
Karim Darboe, principal public health officer for Western 2 Health Region in Brikama, acknowledged that they are doing all it takes to popularize the vaccines among locals.
He, however, lamented some of the challenges which include people’s willingness to take the jab.
“But recently, we have seen some improvement and this came after engaging critical stakeholders in the region,” Mr Darboe said. “We don’t only embark on this campaign without strengthening our communication activities. And we are doing this along administering the vaccines proper.”
He revealed that they also engaged the Parent Teacher’s Association (PTA) Mother’s Club and other important community structures such as village health workers and market committees, among others.