No Covid-19 vaccine administered to Children at the Bamenda Regional Hospital
There is no Covid19 vaccine administered to children at the Bamenda Regional Hospital and North West public health authorities have qualified it as “fake news”.
According to Dr. Cheboh Cornelius, coordinator for the Expanded Program for Immunization in the North West Region, fake news circulating in the community has absolutely affected the turnout of mothers at the hospital for the routine vaccines.
“Some people are disseminating false stories surrounding vaccine of Covid-19. They say children are being vaccinated with Covid-19 vaccines. People are also afraid to come to the hospital because they think it is an infected environment so they keep children at home rather than bring them for vaccinations”.
Coupled with the armed conflict rocking the region, vaccination coverage has greatly dropped. “The North West region used to be the best in terms of vaccination coverage in the country but we are currently at the 7th position”, says Dr Cheboh Cornelius.
According to Chambo Wongibe Rose Mary, unit head for the Expanded Programme on Immunization and Infant welfare center at the Bamenda Regional Hospital, misinformation surrounding this new virus has scared many mothers away from the hospital.
“We do not have the Covid19 vaccine and I know there is no vaccine for this virus at the moment, so there is no reason for women to stay at home. Women have been having successful routine vaccines before this pandemic and even at the start of the pandemic. We had to call these women on phone to encourage them to respect the routine schedule of their children”.
“The government cannot approve harmful vaccines into the country so when the Covid-19 vaccine is finally available, women should not be afraid to vaccinate their children”, Chombo Rose Mary added.
The false story originated from fake news on various social media platforms on Covid-19 vaccine killing children in Guinea and Senegal. Though both were proven to be fake news by AFP, the fake news is still finding its way into the homes of Cameroonians. Link: https://factcheck.afp.com/senegalese-children-did-not-die-coronavirus-vaccine-which-does-not-yet-exist
Delphine Teke, a business woman in Bamenda and mother to 10 months Sonita, missed her daughter’s AAV vaccine (yellow fever) because she was scared to go to the hospital after getting funny stories on Covid-19.
“I heard stories in my neighborhood about covid-19 vaccines given to children and that scared me. I went back to the hospital after watching a programme on Tv that talked about Covid-19 and fake news.”
The hospital authorities have assured women of their children’s safety at the hospital. Missing out on routine vaccine puts the children at risk of contracting other deadly diseases.
Also read: « 6 Ways to Prepare for the COVID-19 Vaccine«