Gabon’s Minister of Health, Guy-Patrick Obiang has called on senators to be more involved in the country’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign process.
Obiang wants senators to help convince Gabonese of the safety of the vaccines.
Addressing the senators in Libreville, on Thursday, the minister said “the senate having within it venerable senators who are political leaders, it is important that the senators play the role of the vectors of sensitization in their political base.”
Gabon officially launched its anti-Covid-19 vaccination on March 23 with the vaccination of President Ali Bongo Ondimba followed twenty-four hours afterwards by members of his government.
However, this does not seem to be convincing Gabonese of the safety of the vaccines following massive disinformation on social media against the coronavirus vaccines.
Presenting the national vaccination plan to senators, Obiang said the “plan permits the definition of the targets, the persons who can be vaccinated, the sites where the vaccination would take place and how we are going to put in place the mechanisms of surveillance”.
Though the vaccination is not obligatory, it is strongly recommended and the government has fixed a target to vaccinate at least 50 per cent of the population within the first phase of the national vaccination campaign.
The appeal by the Minister of Health to senators comes on the heels of a similar plea by the Prime Minister, Christiane Ossouka Raponda who had earlier called on religious leaders to implore their Christians to get themselves vaccinated.