It’s been a month since the Gambia received its first consignment of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines in July as part of a packaged rollout by the United States government in its vaccination support program.
The second consignment of over 151,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines finally came when COVID-19 cases are escalating rapidly in the country. And as of yesterday, the country registered 895 active cases and 213 deaths
So far, Gambians have been coming out to take their jabs of the Johnson and Johnson. Those who took the vaccine have no reserve sharing their experience.
“I feel normal as I was at work the very day I took it (Johnson & Johnson vaccine), the next day and still very active and going on with my normal businesses. Personally, I haven’t seen anything strange rather develop any mild symptoms after taking my Johnson and Johnson’s Covid vaccine” said Baba S. Touray Communications Officer at the Ministry of Education.
Maimuna Beyai a Student Journalist also shared her experienced. “It took a lot of time before I was convinced to take the vaccine due to the same fear that many people have. Notwithstanding, I will encourage others to go get the vaccination that way, we will succeed in the fight against Covid 19” she encouraged after taking the vaccine
Yusef Taylor, commonly called Flex Dan, Journalist also encourages people to go out and take the jab after he took his shot even though, he was skeptical of taking the vaccine
“On a personal level, I was skeptical of getting the vaccine at first because I felt that I was quite fit and didn’t need any vaccine. But, I soon realized that this was the wrong way to think. The main reason I’m getting the vaccine is so I can protect myself, my newborn princess, my grandparents, and many of the more vulnerable people that I always get in touch with”
Meanwhile, US Ambassador to The Gambia Richard Carl Paschall has stressed that the vaccines are safe, encouraging Gambians to take the vaccine.
“We’re very delighted to partner with the Gambian government to provide these vaccines. I want to emphasize two very important things. The first thing is these vaccines are safe. These vaccines have been administered to over 50 million Americans and many more around the world. These vaccines are effective and have a greater than 99% effectiveness of becoming seriously ill from COVID 19”.
He said the Gambia could be safe heaven and leading example in the fight to keep the spread of the virus
“We’re all eagerly anticipating the arrival of the tourism season. I would urge all Gambians to recognize that the Gambia can be a leader in the world in vaccination rates. And if you’re a leader in the vaccination rates, these would be the safe destination for tourism and people would want to come and see the smiling coast and enjoy the hospitality of the Gambian people and natural beauty than we find here”.
However, the Ministry of Health Dr Samateh said despite vaccination hesitancy, it’s ‘waning off’
“People are understanding that these vaccines are going to help save lives. We have seen an unprecedented number of people coming to get vaccinated. Today has been the six-day, 10,239 people got vaccinated. This first week we have had 53,000, 700 plus vaccines administered for this first week” the Minister told the US Ambassador during the second handing over of the second consignment of the Johnson and Johnson