Friday, September 30

Women market vendors take vaccines to dent covid-19 effects

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Since the country registered the first Covid-19 case on 17 March 2020, several market vendors within the Kanifing Municipality (KM) have taken the Covid-19 jabs to reduce the spread of the virus and protect themselves and their families, as they meet different people daily.

“I have taken the jab. I contributed my own quota to curbing the spread of the disease, as I usually sit in an open place and also interact with people every day,” Dagga Njie, a vendor at Latrikunda Sibiji market said.

Fatou Sanneh, another vendor says it is her responsibility to protect herself by taking the jab. She said the market is a place where they interact with different people daily.

“I thank God. I don’t have the virus, because I took the jab to protect myself and my family. I am married with kids,” she stated.

“I took the vaccine to protect myself and my family,” Fatou Conteh said. “I have seen the scary number of covid-19 cases and deaths The Gambia has registered.”

Tabara Jallow, another local market vendor, said the perception she had about the vaccines was that it would kill her. Nonetheless, she realised the importance and the positive effect it would have on her health through the vaccine campaigns. This encouraged her to take the vaccine with confidence.

“Now thank God I and my family are protected from the virus,” she said with utmost pride.

The Gambia’s Ministry of Health confirmed the country’s first case of coronavirus on Tuesday March 17, 2020.

Mbye Njie, the deputy programme manager for the Expanded Programme on Immunization at the Ministry of Health, said the decline in the number of positive Covid-19 cases might not be directly linked to the vaccination.

However he added that it has had an impact because the “vaccine protects people from contracting the virus and prevents severe conditions of the virus when one contracts it.”

“We have not done a study to say that the vaccinations are the result of the decline in positive cases but vaccines protect people against diseases and we believe it has contributed to the reduction of positive cases in the country,” he stated.

Mr. Njie noted that some people were reluctant at first to take the vaccine due to misconceptions but the ministry in its bid to use the vaccines before expiry, expanded the priority groups and included those beyond 18 years in the vaccination campaign.

Njie emphasised that the Ministry of Health and the Government of The Gambia will not bring anything that will harm the population.

“Everything has side effects but the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the side effects,” he went on, while urging the public to trust the health system because they are part of the population.

“We need to protect our population. Therefore, let everyone take the vaccine because it is safe and protects,” he told Gambians.

This story was produced with support from Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), in partnership with Kaba Communications and The Point through its Mobilising Media in the Fight COVID-19 (MMFC).