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#COVID19: Only 4% Of Gabon’s Medical Workers Take Vaccine

Medical workers in Gabon have refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine, despite being given preferential treatment by the country in collecting the Chinese variant.

Since the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 was launched in Gabon on Tuesday, March 23, only 4 per cent of medical personnel in the country have volunteered to be given the COVID-19 vaccine, HumAngle can report. 

This fear of the vaccine continues even after the country’s Head of State President Ali Bongo, Dr Guy Patrick Obiang Ndong, Minister of Health,  and a medical doctor took the sensitisation lead by having themselves vaccinated in front of television cameras.

Medical workers despite being vien preferential treatment along with persons with comorbidities, and security forces, have refused to be vaccinated first, thus throwing cold water on the national campaign to vaccinate as many Gabonese as possible against the virus.

“Gabon has so far received only 100,000 doses of the SINOPHARM vaccine donated by the Chinese government,”  said Ndongo Gustav who introduced himself as a civil society advocate in Libreville on Sunday.

“While the new wave of infections is spreading like wildfire, the most appropriate remedy against massive deaths as we all know is vaccination.”

Gustav lamented that those who were expected to encourage other citizens to go for the vaccine were the ones refusing to take it themselves “thus sowing doubts in the minds of the people as to its efficacy. It is very unfortunate.”

Over the weekend, the pilot committee for the fight against COVID-19 (COPIL), revealed that 4,043 persons have so far volunteered to take the vaccine as of Friday, April 9, and 3,925 had already been vaccinated.

Of this number, only 4 per cent are health personnel, most of whom continue to refuse to take the vaccine even after President Ali Bongo Ondimba and the Health Minister had taken the lead to get themselves vaccinated as an encouragement.

COPIL has also revealed that of those already vaccinated, 78 per cent are males, 10 per cent are above the age of 60, 12 per cent are hypertension patients while 5 per cent are diabetic.

The second phase of the vaccination campaign would be launched next week in the provinces of Ogooue-Maritime and Haut-Ogooue. 

It would also involve vaccination in military health posts in the capital Libreville where military personnel who are also among the priority group to be vaccinated would be taken care of.


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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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