Gambian President Adama Barrow, Vice President Isatou Touray, and several cabinet ministers received COVID-19 injection on Wednesday at the State House in Banjul, following the arrival of 36,000 doses of COVAX vaccination into the West African nation last week.
“The pandemic has taken its toll on everyone, emotionally, socially, economically, or otherwise. It is a relief, therefore, that those suitable vaccines have been discovered, tested, and approved by reliable experts,” Barrow said after receiving his COVID-19 shot.
He called on the population to embrace the vaccination as it has been confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as safe and effective for the prevention and control of COVID-19.
The country representative of the WHO in The Gambia, Desta Tiruneh, said that stopping the pandemic is one of the ultimate objectives of the COVAX arrangement.
“The arrival of vaccine through COVAX facility in The Gambia and Africa is a significant triumph in the history of public health and should be celebrated. Without COVAX, many low-income countries such as The Gambia would have been completely left out and we would not have been able to witness what we are seeing here,” he said.
The Gambia’s Health Minister Amadou Lamin Samateh said the vaccines will provide for 20 percent of the nation’s population, targeting persons over forty years and those with underlying health conditions.
COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the WHO. UNICEF is a key implementing partner that facilitates the ferrying of the vaccines to the low-income countries including The Gambia. Enditem