Health

Cameroon Mass Vaccination at Markets and Churches

COVID-19 is affecting all aspects of daily life, across Africa and around the globe. Vaccination campaigns are considered key to protecting the population and overcoming the virus.

As well as protecting health, vaccines are helping to restart international travel. Many countries closed their borders or introduced entry restrictions to limit the spread of the disease.

Only a limited number of countries allow non-vaccinated travelers to enter without quarantine for non-essential purposes. One example is South Africa, South Africa visas for Cameroonian citizens are being issued regardless of vaccination status. Visitors do, however, need to have a negative PCR test in the 3 days before departure.

By getting vaccinated, Cameroonians can increase their opportunities for travel. Some nations already allow visitors with proof of vaccination to enter with fewer restrictions.

The government of Cameroon has been working to make it easier for all members of the population to get vaccinated, to improve the health situation and restart economic activity.

Mass Vaccination Campaign in Cameroon

Cameroon has recently completed a mass vaccination campaign. In an effort to encourage more of the population to get vaccinated against COVID-19, teams of medical professionals went door to door and set up more than 250 vaccination centers in public places such as markets and churches.

The campaign was announced by Minister of Public Health Malachie Manaouda on June 16th and took place over 5 days, from 7 to 11 of July 2021.

Everyone over the age of 18 in Cameroon can get vaccinated. Although this campaign has ended, health officials continue to encourage the population to protect themselves against COVID-19 and help to limit the spread of the virus.

How Many People in Cameroon Have Been Vaccinated Against COVID-19?

Cameroon started its coronavirus vaccination campaign in April when 200,000 doses of Sinopharm were received from China. Nevertheless, take-up for the free vaccine has been slow and as of July 15, 2021, just over  . With a population of 25 million, that is enough to vaccinate around 0.3%.

By making it easier for people to get vaccinated, it is hoped that take-up will increase. Authorities have selected places frequented by most members of the population so that the vaccination can be administered with minimal disruption to daily life.

Speaking at the start of this latest campaign, Manaouda called for Cameroonians to get vaccinated. He stressed that the majority of the population needs to be vaccinated in order to restart activities and stimulate economic recovery.

According to the health minister, Cameroon has ordered more than 5 million doses of vaccine and aims to vaccinate 20% of the population by January, when the country is set to host the African Cup of Nations football tournament. It is not yet clear whether this target can be reached.

Why Are Some People Hesitant?

There’s more than one reason why some Cameroonians are reluctant to get inoculated. Administering vaccines in convenient locations may be an effective way to target those people whose concerns are practical.

Although the vaccine is free, there is still a cost associated. People may need to travel to their nearest vaccination point, whether by public transport, taxi, or walking. Vaccine points at markets and other public spaces successfully overcome this issue.

However, for other people, concerns about the reliability and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines are preventing them from accepting the potentially life-saving injections.

Misinformation and rumors about side effects are 2 of the main reasons people refuse to get inoculated. In response, authorities in Cameroon are also working to improve public awareness of the importance of vaccination and increase trust.

A further issue is that many people do not go back for their second dose of the vaccine. The second jab is essential in order to be protected.

How Does This Compare to Nigeria?

Nigeria has a population of more than 200 million, 8 times that of Cameroon. So far in Nigeria over 3,900,000 vaccine doses have been administered, enough to fully vaccinate around 1% of the population.

Nigeria hopes to vaccinate 70% of its population by the end of 2022. Health authorities believe herd immunity from coronavirus in Nigeria can be achieved once this level of vaccination is reached.

The vaccination campaign in Nigeria has faced some of the same challenges as Cameroon. Authorities have made similar efforts to target misinformation and make it easier for people to receive the jab.

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Ifiokobong Ibanga

Ifiokobong Ibanga is the founder of InfoGuideNIgeria.com. You can get in touch with him on Instagram @ifiokobong. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly send a message. Much Love!

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