The World Bank has approved a U.S $12.5 million grant to the Republic of Congo in order to acquire COVID-19 vaccines and reinforce awareness of benefits of the vaccination campaign.
This will enhance easy vaccination of the Central African Nation whose Coronavirus Epicentre is in Pointe Noire, as its vaccine rollout had been hindered by lack of second doses and health worker burnout.
Vaccination agents are subject to social and logistical constraints which further complicates campaign efforts.
Saint Médard Gauhy, the Head of the Rapid Response COVID-19 Team, shares his observations on the grounds that “Public awareness efforts could work for a month, two months, but that is part of the difficulties we have. The Government has provided the means, but it is not enough to achieve the objective.
The Supervisor of the vaccination site in Pointe Noire, Dr Ndonggui Kibalou Dany, goes over the steps taken in recent months.
He believes there were awareness measures put in place with the campaign agents that were dispatched in the arteries of the city, and this seemed to bear fruit in the first days because we went from the decreasing curve to the increasing curve.
He disclosed that “there are fewer and fewer people coming to be vaccinated, as you will notice, and the difficulty we have is with the second doses of Sputnik. For some time we have not had enough doses at our site.”
Since April 24, when vaccination operations kicked off, about 100,000 people have been vaccinated out of the 3,000,000 people the health authorities are targeting to achieve herd immunity.
The vaccine still has difficulty being accepted by some of the Congolese, mostly still influenced by the fact that some Russians themselves have refused to take the Sputnik V vaccine.”
Some are of the opinion that “if the vaccine is made in Congo, we are ready to take it, compared to what is brought to us here.”
“I learned that the vaccine makes you sick, so I don’t want to be vaccinated,” a woman says with fear in her eyes.
This most recent World Bank financial aid comes after the one issued in 2020, estimated at 11 million US dollars.
On July 1, Congo reported 12,596 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 165 deaths.