Covid–19 vaccination gathers momentum


CH/EPI Officer Andrew Kemoh taking the vaccine

An elderly man taking the vaccine administered by Nurse Bintu Kallon

At the King Harman Road hospital where the ongoing vaccination is taking place, Nurse Bintu Kallon administering the vaccine says on a daily basis they administer about 120 vaccinations, which she said put them as the highest vaccination centre in the country.

She said the vaccination goes on every day and said it is on Sunday they will have the lowest number of people going for the vaccine.

Explaining how they process works, she said everybody is free to visit the centre for the vaccine but on arrival the person registers and he or she checked to know their health status.

“When once your health status has been checked then we will know the vaccine we will administer to the individual. If you have underlying sickness like pressure, diabetes and the likes then we will have to give you the AstraZaneca shot. Also if you are above 60 years of age, you will get the same AstraZaneca vaccine. But if you are below 40 years of age and you do not have any underlying sickness we will give you SinoPharm.”

Nurse Bintu said she is very happy that Sierra Leoneans are embracing the vaccine process and hope that those spreading fake news will stop and they too can come have their shot or talk to all those that have taken to know how they feel.

Community Health Officer on Expanded Program on Immunization (CH/EPI) Andrew K. Kemoh said the immunization is going on well as they are happy that many people especially those above 60 years volunteering to take it.

“We do not force anyone to take the vaccine and we have done the entire test and have all the records to prove that the vaccine is safe for us all to take. I am taking mine and why, it is safe for me to take it. You too should take it and explain to your colleagues that they can have their shot free of charge and they will stay safe.”
Mr.Kemoh averred that there has been no major case since they started administering the vaccine, stating that everybody has phobia for needle but are always okay after they take the vaccine.

He said many of the elderly they have spoken with one week after they took the vaccine still say they are normal only that they had slight headache or they felt dizzy few minutes after taking the shot.

He encouraged all to take the vaccine and said it is for their own good hey are taking it for.

“I want to explain to the public that if you take the Astra Zaneca the second shot will be administered after six weeks. If it is the SinoPharm the second shot is three weeks.

Talking to some aged that took the shot said they are ok and some of them said they came to take it because they saw President Bio taking it, whilst others say they good the enthusiasm from their friends that took the shot in the first week.

They were all normal and happy as they say they are now very sure that they will not have corona.

Madam Fatu Kamara when asked about the vaccine, she said she took it and she is ok as well as hoping that more people especially the aged to take it.

“When I watch CNN and listen to the news of how old people are dying of covid, I knew that I should take it and save my life. That is why I have taken it and even after one hour, I am still normal with no side effect.”

Imran Sillah of the Startegic Communications Unit too was there to take the shot and said that he must take it because it is safe and ok for everyone to take it.

“If President Bio and his cabinet ministers can take it and they are all fine, I believe I too should take it and will be fine.

One of the first journalists to take the shot was Mohamed Kabba of Awoko News paper. He said he took it on the 15th of March and until today he is ok with no side effect or any funny feeling.

This was the same opinion given by BBC’s Umaru Fofanah, Patrick Lansana of EOC that they are all doing fine and they are ok.

The health workers and most of those that have taken the vaccine said they want to thank the President for his leadership as well as the VP and all leaders of government and political parties for leading the way in developing confidence in the vaccines they have and the vaccination process.

According to data from EPI, they have expanded the eligibility of individuals to vaccinate and now the age requirement has now been reduced from 70 to 60, and all individuals with major comorbidities are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. So they expect the number of vaccinations to increase.

In the first week of the rollout, they successfully vaccinated 13, 538 individuals. In Karene, the healthcare workers are taking the services to locations where the people live, as the vaccination is going on effectively as they are doing it under a Mango Tree in one location.

 Prof. Mallam O, Statistician General and Vice Chancellor of USL took the jab and he felt good with no side effect. He called on all to follow suit so that they can keep Sierra Leone safe.

Dr. Nehlema Barrie and her Dad also went for the vaccine last week and checking them this week, they are doing fine and Pa Barrie said he is happy to have taken the jab and hope all those that are yet to take it venture and see that it is safe for all.

The Communication Lead Harold Thomas thanked the healthcare workers for their service in ending this pandemic in Sierra Leone and allowing Sierra Leone to get back to normal.  He encouraged the public to redouble their efforts in participation in the vaccine rollout. He continued to remind them to continue with the mitigation efforts by wearing mask, keeping the social distance and hand Hygiene.