By Makutu Manneh
President Adama Barrow took the Covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday 10th March 2021 and also launched the National Covid-19 vaccination campaign.
Other personnel that were vaccinated were the Vice president, Minister of Health, Health workers, State house staff, security forces among others.
Barrow in his statement reassured Gambians that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.
“It is a relief that a suitable vaccine has been tested and approved by reliable experts,” he said.
“The first batch of the vaccine is available and will be rolled out today.”
The Gambian leader said the pandemic has taken its toll on everyone emotionally, socially and economically.
He continued to say that he is sure they all wish the vaccines were discovered earlier in order to save more lives.
He said Gambia’s Scenario reflects the global situation with loss of loved ones, friends and citizens within the country and the diaspora.
The Gambian president stressed that this is a positive step towards realising his government’s urgent and passionate desire for the full protection of all Gambians against COVID-19.
He went on to say priority will be given to those who are at risk and most vulnerable segments of the population.
The categories of people the president is referring to are those aged sixty-five (65) and above, health workers, people with health conditions.
President Barrow informed Gambians that the World Bank has provided resources to procure forty per cent (40%) of the country’s vaccine requirement.
He said this will complement the twenty per cent (20%) the Gambia has through the Covax arrangement.
It is reported that the Gambia received thirty-six thousand (36, 000) doses of AstraZeneca Vaccine under the Covax package.
The Government of Senegal also gave ten thousand (10, 000) doses of the Sino-Pharma vaccine.
Barrow thanked President Macky Sall for the kind gesture.
On behalf of the Gambia government and her people, Barrow expressed sincere gratitude to Global Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and WHO for the development.
He said his government is working with MRC Gambia and Africa Centre for Disease Control to secure additional does to meet the estimated national requirement.