By Nelson Manneh
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with partners have embarked on a round of National Covid-19 vaccination campaign on Saturday, 18 December, 2021, this time on a mobile outreach campaign strategy within Western-I and Western-II Health Regions, covering all communities/wards in Banjul, Kanifing Municipality, and all districts in Kombo and Foni.
According to Modou Njai, the Director of Health Promotion and Education at the Ministry of Health, the Mobile Outreach Campaign will enable vaccination teams to reach out to Gambians at their doorsteps.
“This one-week exercise will commence from Saturday 18 to Friday, 24 December, 2021. Vaccination teams and social mobilizers will be moving from street to street within communities and other public places,” he said.
Director Njai said the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be used during this exercise and all individuals above the age of 18 years are eligible to get vaccinated and are required to get only one dose of the vaccine to be fully protected.
“In this regard, the Ministry of Health calls for all eligible individuals to quickly grab this opportunity as the vaccination teams will be coming right at their doorsteps,” he said.
The Ministry also calls on family heads, caregivers, community leaders, religious leaders, and everyone to support this campaign by encouraging all eligible individuals within their respective households and communities to get vaccinated during this period.
“Remember, vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19. The Ministry therefore solicits the continuous support and cooperation of the public in its efforts to contain COVID-19 in the country,” he stated.
The Health authorities said only about 14.7% of the population is vaccinated, after receiving COVID-19 vaccines targeted to vaccinate 20% of the population, or about 487,780 people, as at 14 December, 2021.
The ministry is concerned with the public’s lack of appetite to be vaccinated. Mbye Njie, a health specialist working at the Expanded Program on Immunization Unit of the Ministry of Health, said that since they cannot force people to come out and get vaccinated, they have mapped out strategic places where people can go and get vaccinated but they are not forthcoming as expected. He quickly added that they will continues to bring in new strategies to ensure that people are vaccinated.
He emphasized that the vaccines are safe and effective and encourages everyone to come out and be vaccinated against the deadly virus.