The Standard newspaper invited Ministry of Health officials Thursday to vaccinate all staff with the Johnson and Johnson Covid -19 vaccine. Led by Amadou Sarjo Jallow, the team also used the visit to extend the vaccination to others members of the community of Bakau.
Mr Jallow said it was his delight together with his team to visit a “reputable medium” such as The Standard and vaccinate its staff.
“The Standard is doing great things for the country, especially in terms of raising awareness on issues such as health,” Mr Jallow said.
He added that there is a gradual general acceptance of the vaccine among Gambians, despite previous hesitancy, with misleading theories about the vaccines which kept many people away.
“With the little effort from the media, and from the Ministry of Health, we are seeing Gambian people coming and receiving the vaccine,” he said.
Tabora Bojang, a senior reporter at The Standard, said contrary to widespread perception of personal risks to the vaccine, he “felt nothing” after receiving it. He urged others to come forward and take the vaccine.
“I felt very little pain immediately after I was injected but I am totally fine now. I am glad to have been vaccinated,” he said.
Chief reporter, Omar Bah, called on other journalists in the country who are yet to receive the jab to do so now, saying media workers must never be skeptical about Covid vaccines.
“Journalists must follow and deal with facts, and the fact is that top researchers and scientists have given their blessings to the vaccines. And that is all that is needed,” he said.
The editor-in-chief of the paper, Lamin Cham, thanked the management of The Standard for a “visionary idea” of bringing health personnel to vaccinate its staff.
“This is a very good and important move,” he said. “As media, we should be at the forefront in promoting vaccine acceptancy and fight against vaccine hesitancy.”
He said that is why The Standard takes it as a responsibility not just in words but in practice by inoculating all members of the staff. “It’s the only way they can have protection against the virus.”
The general manager of The Standard, Pa Salla Jeng expressed his gratitude to the team of health workers for taking time to visit and inoculate members of his staff.