By Nelson Manneh
The Government of the Gambia has on Sunday 22nd August 2021 received 38,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by the French government.
The Gambia has first received thirty-six (36) thousand doses of AstraZeneca vaccine under the COVAX Facility arrangement and 15,000 doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine through the MTN/AFRICA CDC donation. This is the third time the Gambia is receiving AstraZeneca vaccine.
Following the Launch of the COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign by President Adama Barrow, the Ministry of Health started rolling out vaccination against COVID-19 in all parts of the country after the launching ceremony was held on 10th March 2021.
Hon, Charbel Elhajj, the Counsel of France in the Gambia said the French government has been working hard to support some African countries with the COVID-19 vaccines.
“COVID-19 vaccines are life-saving vaccines and as a government, we are trying by all means to make sure that people residing in the Gambia are vaccinated,” he said.
He said with the 38,400 doses, it will be able to cover around 19, 000 lives.
Dr. Amadou Lamin Samateh, the Minister of Health who received the donated AstraZeneca vaccine on behalf of the government of the Gambia, said the Gambia has received a lot of global solidarity since the country registered its first case of the deadly virus.
“This is not an easy moment, but we thank countries that come to our aid especially with these vaccines, without their assistance, we would have found it very difficult to access them,” he said.
Dr. Samateh said some people have already taken their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and they are supposed to take the second dose, but it was not in town.
“Now that the AstraZeneca vaccine is available, we call on those who have taken their first dose to come and take their second dose. Those who have not taken any of the vaccines can also come and take it,” he said.
The Health Minister reminds the public that COVID-19 is still in the country and it is killing people, therefore, the public should continue to wear face masks and observed all the preventive measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus.