March 31, 2021
By Ibrahim Sorie Koroma
Health Education Officer-HED/MoHS
Vice President Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh
Amidst rumours, misconceptions and conspiracy theories on COVID-19 vaccines roll-out promoted on social media, there has been a clear show of leadership by state and local authorities to ensure trust among Sierra Leoneans on the safety and efficacy of the coronavirus vaccines administered in the country seems to have yielded dividend which has somehow influenced up-take among target beneficiaries.
On March 15th 2021, the His Excellency Retired Brigadier President Maada Bio led by example to take the first dose of the corona virus vaccine at State House in full view of cameras and development partners.
This was also followed by his Honorable Ministers, notable were the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Austin Demby, Information and Communications Minister, Mohamed Raham Swarray to name but a few. The Mayor of Freetown, her Worship, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr took her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at State House. Key Opposition politicians from the main opposition party, the All Peoples Congress (APC), National Grand Coalition (NGC) and the Coalition for Change (C4C) also received their first dose.
The show of leadership did not only stop at State House and national level, but continued at the districts where district authorities like district Mayors/chair persons of councils, Staff of District Corona virus Response Center (DiCOVERC), health workers, Police, Military and Immigration officers did not only championed the vaccine roll-out, but also served as example by taking the first dose of the covid-19 vaccine.
The first phase of the vaccine roll-out was launched on Monday 15th March at state house by His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio and rolled-out to the 16 districts from Monday 22nd – 31st March targeting health workers and frontline workers like soldiers, police officers, immigration and customs officers, people over 70 years and people with chronic health conditions like diabetes, hypertension etc.
From the roll-out so far, the vaccine has proven to be safe and effective in the entire district. The VACCINE IS SAFE, WHAT IS NOT SAFE IS CATCHING COVID-19. In case you have taken the vaccine but experience (d) adverse drug reaction following immunization (AEFI), you can go to the nearest hospital or call 117. Normally, Adverse Drug Reactions Following Immunization are mild and do not pose serious threat to the health of the person vaccinated.