“No, I am not aware of vaccine coming to the country and I have not heard about any awareness on why citizens should commit to taking it,” – Amos Bemah resident of Johnson Street
By: Trokon Wrepue- [email protected]
Monrovia- On March 5, 2021, Liberia received 96,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses brought into the country via the COVAX initiative, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO.
The arrival of the vaccines in Liberia according to the World Health Organization is part of the historic step towards achieving the goal of equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally, in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history.
This delivery the WHO said is part of the first wave of shipment s that will continue to different countries in the coming days and weeks.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illnesses.
According to reports, the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccinations is being impacted by the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Pharmaceutical Technology could become more problematic as the virus continues to spread, increasing its chance to mutate. These variants could affect not only the effectiveness of the vaccines but also the natural immunity that COVID-19 survivors have developed, making annual booster shots required for COVID-19 immunity.
Like other African countries, 96,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines have already arrived in Liberia as the first part of the 384,000 doses that are expected to be delivered to the country over the next months through the COVAX Facility, the global initiative that is leading efforts to secure fair and equitable access the safe and effective vaccines for every country in the world, including low and middle-income countries.
Liberia’s Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah lauded the United States Government, the COVAX Facility, including other partners for ensuring Liberia is a recipient of the COVAX Vaccine.
But the government of Liberia is yet to do any public awareness on the presence of the vaccine and its significant impact on the human race.
Due to the lack of needed public awareness in the country, there are mixed reactions mouthed from citizens since the arrival of the vaccine.
Amos Bemah, resident of Johnson Street- Monrovia said has no understanding of the vaccine and why citizens should accept it.
“I am not aware of vaccine coming to the country and I have not heard about any awareness on why citizens should commit to taking it,” He said.
Bemah said at this moment he cannot encourage anyone to take the vaccines, because he does not know the importance.
“No one has said anything to us. And also, for those who fix the vaccines, the number of Covid cases is worrisome and how I believe that it will be effective on Africans? That’s really my fear,” he said.
However, Bemah called on Liberians to keep safe by following the preventive measures put in place by health experts.
“The only thing I want to tell President Weah is we are not like other countries where people are not dying daily. Let his government ensure that every citizen play by the rule instead of administering a vaccine that we Africans know nothing about.” Bemah concluded.
Like Bemah, Esther Weah, a street vendor in Monrovia said she has not heard of the invention of any vaccine and it is not to her knowledge that the vaccine arrived in Liberia.
“I don’t know anything about the vaccine; I am just hearing it from this interview today.”
“Really, I don’t know as to whether the coronavirus will not affect those who will take the vaccine treatment. I don’t know much about it.
“How will I encourage people to take it, I don’t know how it works so I can’t tell anyone to be shot.
But if it is true that the vaccine works well and can cure the virus, we will encourage people to take it, but for now, I can’t encourage anyone or even any of my family members to go for it. Esther said.
Oliver Brown, an entrepreneur in central Monrovia said he knows about the arrival COVID-19 vaccine and is convinced to take it.
“The vaccine is necessary, I will encourage others to take a shot because our health matters,” Brown said.
According to Oliver Brown, the COVID-19 is a fast-spreading disease that has cut across the world and if there are doses of the virus sent to Iberia, it is a welcoming development.
“The COVID-19 is a disease that is spreading all over the world, and then when there is a vaccine and it is already in Liberia, I am thankful.” He said.
Brown wants the government through the Ministry of Health to do robust awareness on the vaccine in Liberia on grounds that not many people across the country know about the vaccine and its effectiveness.
Another Entrepreneur in Monrovia Prince Manjoe said COVID-19 is ravaging the world so having the vaccine in Liberia is welcoming.
“Looking at the COVID-19 death rate across the world of which Liberia is no exception, I would like to encourage all of us to take the opportunity by embracing the COVID-19 vaccine in order to keep safe.” He mentioned.
Manjoe recommended that the government of Liberia prioritize the health workers by letting them take full control of the vaccination process and to determine who takes the vaccine and who’s not eligible to take it.
“Let the National Public Health Institute, the Ministry of Health and those in authority put in place mechanism to ensure this vaccine reaches all part of Liberia to fight COVID-19 collectively,” Manjoe said.
On 16 March 2020, Liberia confirmed the presence of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) within its borders. One week later, health authorities declared a public health emergency and requested United Nations Support in stopping the transmission of the virus.
Liberia currently has 2,024 cases and ranks 180 in countries with reported COVID-19 cases, viral pneumonia that affects the planet. In the last 24 hours, no deaths were reported and the number of fatalities remains at 85. In contrast, it has been reported that 1,892 people have recovered in the country.