If the Ministry of Health intends to reverse the statistics on women’s turnout for COVID-19 vaccination in Montserrado County and perhaps elsewhere in the country it needs to embark on vigorous public education about the jabs to dispel rumor and fear among the population.
Statistics released by the Ministry last week Thursday, August 19, 2021, revealed women lagging behind 50 percent against men vaccinated since the Johnson & Johnson jab administration started on August 5, 2021, exactly two weeks.
Authorities from the health ministry revealed that out of a total of 16,821 persons vaccinated within this period, 11,098 were men, compared to 5,728 women in the same period, which clearly indicates more women are not coming out to take the vaccines.
Exactly what is responsible is not established, but perceived rumor and fear about probable side effects backed by poor awareness from the ministry itself could be robbing women of the opportunity to get vaccinated.
Instead of just reading the statistics as it did last week, the Ministry of Health should embark on vigorous public education to allay fear among women, perhaps leading them to have less interest in the exercise.
We might not have the facts regarding this issue, but women in Africa are generally reluctant to go for vaccination for several reasons ranging from fear of sterilization that could affect their reproductive process or probably lead to other complications.
The truth of the matter is that the ministry did not carry out adequate awareness and education about the vaccines, particularly the AstraZeneca dose before administering it, given the huge global controversy that surrounded it initially about blood clog and heart failure the time it was being administered in the country.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine currently being administered in the country was manufactured in the United States certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Agency as safe for human use.
Newly arrived Country Director for the United States Agency for International Aid (USAID) Jim Wright assured Liberians during the official launch of the vaccine in Monrovia that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine donated to Liberia by the United States Government is safe.
“Let me be clear: This is a safe vaccine. U.S. regulators approved the J&J vaccine last February. Since then, almost 13.5 million Americans have received this very same vaccine, and tens of thousands more are receiving it every day”, Director Wright said when he joined also newly arrived Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Country Director Dr. Rachel Idowu and Liberia’s Foreign Minister Dee Maxwell Kemayah, Health Minister Wilhelmina Jallah, along with other dignitaries to kick off the Johnson & Johnson vaccination campaign here on Thursday, August 05, 2021.
That assurance may have no resounded enough to Liberians, particularly among the female population. It, therefore, behooves the Ministry of Health to continue awareness about the effectiveness or potency of both jabs into communities and thru radio jingoes with testimonies of some women who have taken the vaccine and how their bodies responded to.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/females-lag-behind-in-vaccination/