By Nelson Manneh
The Ministry of Health has informed the general public that they have on Saturday 17th July, 2021 introduced the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine in The Gambia.
Due to the limited stock of this vaccine, Sukuta Health Center, located in Sukuta West Coast Region, has been identified for now as the only site where one can get vaccinated with the Sinopharm vaccine.
The vaccine will be given on a first come first serve basis, thus, the ministry said individuals should rush to the center on Saturday starting 9 am to get their shot. For one to be fully protected with the vaccine, individuals need to receive two doses at an interval of 3–4 weeks, the ministry said.
The Ministry of Health reminds those who received their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine that they should not receive a different vaccine apart from AstraZeneca.
The ministry reassured those who could not get their second eligible dose of AstraZeneca as a result of stock-out that they will subsequently receive their due dose, as preparations are underway for the availability of more doses of AstraZeneca vaccine.
“The public is also reminded that safe and effective vaccination against COVID-19 is essential to bring this outbreak under control, but alone will not be sufficient. observing social distancing, wearing of face mask, avoiding overcrowded places, avoiding handshaking, frequent hand sanitizing and washing hands with soap and clean water are critical intervention strategies. The Ministry is, therefore, soliciting the continuous support and cooperation of the public in its efforts to contain COVID-19 in the country,” the ministry said.