#COVID19: Gabon Records Low Citizen Turnout For Vaccination

Over 13,000 priority citizens in Gabon are yet to get vaccinated as the country records low turnout for COVID-19 vaccination.

One month after launching the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Gabon, less than 17 per cent of the priority persons have so far appeared for vaccination, the government said.

According to the country’s Ministry of Health, medical personnel, security forces agents, aged persons, and persons suffering from health complications were targeted to receive the first doses of the Sinopharm vaccine in Estuaire and Ogooue-Maritime provinces.

However, “only 17 per cent of these priority persons have demonstrated their confidence in the Chinese vaccine,” a senior health official in Libreville informed HumAngle on Thursday. 

At the launch of the campaign, government officials aimed at vaccinating at least 500,000 people, with about 13,659 being priority targets.

“We are very far from obtaining this goal. In fact, as of April 24, 2021, these priority persons represent less than 17 per cent of those vaccinated,” a health official who opted for anonymity revealed.

“In effect, within the three provinces where vaccination has been going on, very few persons have voluntarily presented themselves to be vaccinated with the first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine.”

The government is already contemplating strategies to use in persuading at least 90 per cent of persons in the targeted groups to go for vaccinations.

At most vaccination centres, even the health personnel themselves are not very eager to take the vaccine though the government still hopes that the situation would change in the not very distant future.

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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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