By Bizel-Bi Mafor
Health officials in Cameroon have reported minor adverse effects of the coronavirus vaccine in the country.
The Public Health Minister made the announcement on Wednesday, June 16, confirming that about 100 people had experienced side effects in Cameroon.
“101-112 persons have minor adverse effects of the vaccine. We have 6 serious cases and 3 deaths, but investigations showed that no death was linked to the vaccine” said Minister Manaouda Malachie during a joint conference with Communication Minister, Rene Emmanuel Sadi.
Cameroon began vaccinating people against the coronavirus in April 2021. The campaign kicked off after a donation of 200.000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China.
According to a source at the Regional Vaccination Center, the turnout at vaccinations centers is low.
Few Cameroonians taking the vaccine do so for travel reasons.
By May 2021, only 45,000 out of the 700.000 doses received had been administered. Most citizens prefer the Chinese Sinopharm Vaccine.
An internal Enlarged Program for Immunization (EPI) survey found that 37% of doctors and medical staff were not willing to receive vaccines, questioning it’s reliability. The EPI in another report said 90% of those to be vaccinated in the approved centers are foreigners resident in the country.
The vaccines’ safety and reliability remain a huge concern.
Sensitization efforts made by the health sector have turned out futile.
The first phase of the coronavirus vaccination campaign ends 61 days after it was launched on July 31, 2021.
Cameroon has vaccinated 170.000 people. 16.200 people have received their second doses.
The country has 244 vaccination centres, 575 vaccination teams, 191 regional supervisors, and 191 focal points managing persons with side effects of the vaccine.
Covid-19 statistics according to the Minister of Public Health on 11 June:
Confirmed cases – 80.090
Recovered cases – 1.310
Active cases – 1.475
Cases on oxygen – 23