Monrovia – Despite the looming doubts and hesitancy about the COVID-19 vaccines, progress is being made to vaccinate at least 10% of the population – a milestone set by the World Health Organization to be achieved before the end of this year.
Report By: Aria Deemie | Inspires Health Reporting Fellow
The World Health Organization has requested that every country vaccinate at least 10 percent of its population by the end of September 2021; at least 40 percent by the end of the year, and 70 percent globally by the middle of 2022. According to Acting WHO Country Representative to Liberia, Dr. Zabulon Yoti, the target will help reduce deaths and disruptions caused by the pandemic.
Some vaccinated people have expressed even more confidence in the jab, dispelling misinformation about the safety and efficacy of both the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines that are being administered across the country.
Samuel James Kpartor, a resident of Bardnersville Estate, is one of many people who have expressed renewed confidence in the vaccine ever since he got inoculated.
Kpartor said he opted to get vaccinated because “scientist and reputable health and medical research institutions and individuals have validated” the safety of the vaccine. Before getting his shot, he was aware for the mild side effects.
“When I got vaccinated, I got the reaction as I would get from another vaccine just as the health authorities had predicated,” he said.
“When I took the J&J vaccine, I felt feverish for some days and quite dizzy and weak as the authorities had predicated, and after a few days, I was back to myself, healthy and normal. I do trust the vaccine and that’s why I decided to take it in the first place”.
For Sylvester Dolo, misinformation about the vaccine could not distract him from getting immunized. “I would’ve stopped myself from taking the vaccine if I was listening to all the rumors about it, but I decided to take it, as a prevention against Covid because I believe in the vaccine,” he said.
Dolo continues: “Most of what we hear is just to make us afraid. Yes, vaccines have side effects, for me I felt dizzy and pain in the arm, but the vaccine is to protect and prevent you from getting sick and I know it’s safe, that is why I took it, and I’ll advise that people take it to be on a safe side.”
Charlene Gartay Korkoyah, a resident of Congo Town, says she has been fully vaccinated and certificated. “There is no cure for coronavirus, but the vaccine will help in terms of safety and will help decrease a person’s changes of getting Covid,” Ms. Korkoya told LocalVoicesLiberia.
“I have confidence in the vaccine because anything that will not benefit us, no one will invest in it. The vaccines were invested in by reputable organizations like World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and it was tested before being given to the local communities.”
“I believe in science, and I actually believe that I hold a responsibility to protect the greater people in my society and my family too,” says Vermon Washington, a resident of Monrovia who just got his jab, who added that “I wanted people around me to be safe, healthy” that’s why he took the vaccine.
“I believe the vaccine is a prevention from COVID-19 — medically it was a wise decision to take it and I didn’t hesitate.
“I know that there are a lot of myths about the vaccine right now and its usual for people to hear skepticism, but the vaccine is safe, and I can say to anyone the best time to take it is now, because you’ll never know the next hot spot of the pandemic. It could be Africa; it could be anywhere” he said
Jennifer Sanvee of the Du Port Road community wears mask and follow all the preventive measures although she has gotten fully vaccinated.
“It doesn’t mean I don’t trust the vaccine; it’s just me going in line with the health protocols. I’m sure that my chances of getting the virus is less than someone who hasn’t been vaccinated,” she said.
“Like we say prevention is better than cure, I’m urging others to please abide by the preventive methods, take the vaccine, if you find reasons to but I know and I am a witness that its good”.
Like Sanvee, Washington also urged “anyone who’s planning to take the vaccine and those who haven’t decided yet — do it for the people around you, your family, friends and yourself, staying safe is everyone’s business”.
“I think more awareness need to be done about the vaccine and more people need to be encouraged to take the vaccine. The Government, media, influencers, and us all need to encourage others to take the vaccine,” added Mr Kpator.
“I would like to caution young people out there that those who died as a result of COVID-19 are not fiction but facts and to be on the safe side for both ourselves and our families, we should all strive to take the vaccine”.