#COVID19: Gabon Begins Mass Vaccination

The government of Gabon is gearing for massive vaccination against the COVID-19 throughout its national territory as it fears that a fourth wave of the pandemic might hit the country in early 2022.

The government of Gabon is gearing for massive vaccination against the COVID-19 throughout its national territory as it fears that a fourth wave of the pandemic might hit the country in early 2022. 

Though there are indications that there is a relative drop in infections in the country in the past several weeks.

Taking Europe, where there has been an explosion in the number of infections following the detection of the Omicron variant, as an indication of how bad the situation can be, the Gabonese government says massive vaccination is the surest and most efficacious way of facing the risk of the fourth wave.

Speaking during the government conference on the pandemic on Monday, Dec. 13, Guy-Patrick Obiang, the country’s Minister of Health, made allusion to the three waves of the pandemic that have hit the country since March 2020.

He said the third wave of the pandemic was disastrous in terms of infections, deaths, saturation of hospital infrastructures, but had a short duration.

“The difference between the three waves is linked to the appearance of the Delta variant which has wreaked havoc worldwide,”  Obiang said.

According to the Health Minister, after attaining its peak in the beginning of November, “a tendency of a significant drop in the third wave is being observed,” adding that following most recent results, of about 7,000 tests carried out recently, only 40 positive cases were declared, which is equivalent to a rate of 10 to 15 contaminations per day.

“With the decreasing tendency, there are fewer and fewer hospitalisations. This is the appropriate period during which we have to get vaccinated,” the Minister said, adding that in Gabon, “every two to three months, we are faced with a new wave. We have also noticed that when there is a new wave in Europe, Gabon is hit by the wave two to three months later.”

“We must get massively vaccinated because there is a risk of a fourth wave in the first trimester of 2022. When there is a new wave in Europe, we equally have it two to three months later so the best thing is to get vaccinated,” the minister insisted, adding that besides protecting against serious forms of the virus, it permits those vaccinated to have a certain amount of liberty because they are exempt from certain restrictive measures.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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