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Me, vaccinated against Covid-19: why now? | Matango Club

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Me, vaccinated against Covid-19: why now?  |  Matango Club

One morning of January 24, 2024, I decided to go to a Covid-19 vaccination center. Since the arrival of this vaccine in Cameroon in April 2021, many stereotypes have been conveyed about its side effects. What made me finally change my mind?

The persistence of the disease despite the lull

In Cameroon, the statistics on those infected with Covid-19 in January 2024 confirm one still active case. Despite an overall case fatality rate of 1.6%, Cameroon still presents very significant risks. The only active case at the moment confirms, despite the lull, that Covid-19 is still present. The control and control of the situation presented by the Cameroonian government do not guarantee anything at all. It is worth taking precautions now and thus protecting yourself from all future risks.

I am one of the people at risk

For several years, I have been struggling with asthma attacks which occur from time to time and thus disrupt my peace of mind. Fortunately for me, I have not yet developed the severe form of the disease. My concern once again began the day I discovered, in a scientific monitoring magazine, that there are groups of people presenting risks or forms of morbidity from Covid-19. People with cardiovascular, pulmonary or kidney disease are on the list. However, the risk becomes greater when the disease is already in its severe chronic phase. This is not my case. But I still decided to go and get vaccinated.

People refuse vaccination because of stereotypes

The Covid-19 vaccine, like all other vaccines, makes people cringe. A lot of stories are told about the disease to the point of warning a large part of the population. One of the stereotypes, all in all legitimate, lies in the objective that international organizations, particularly the WHO, give to these all-out vaccinations. Opinions such as “reduce the African population”, “make sterile”, etc. are the most widespread.

I have always asked myself a question which, until now, remains unanswered: why have medicines from elsewhere (since Cameroon imports all its medicines) not always reduced the population which only grows every year? If the objective of international organizations was to reduce the African and Cameroonian population, it would be easier to go through drugs because of people’s apprehensions regarding the usefulness of vaccines. Fortunately, this “conspiracy” theory is gradually fading despite resistance.

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The contamination rate fell after the arrival of the vaccine

The argument developed here by the most unsuspected people, given the degree of discernment that I attributed to them, is that Covid-19 has already disappeared. We talk about it more around the world. Why do we talk about it in Africa all the time? Yes, precisely, if we talk about it more, it’s because vaccination has changed the situation. The countries with the strictest security measures to contain Covid-19 have long focused on the vaccine. Although it is not obligatory, the mobility of everyone for personal and especially economic and professional reasons has forced them to be vaccinated. This is why several countries have already been able to achieve a vaccination rate of more than 50%. Unfortunately, Cameroon is only at 26.7% of the target population as of December 10, 2023.

Covid-19 gives a lot of money

One of the most surprising opinions is the fact that Covid-19 is giving away a lot of money. Some people, particularly workers, say they were disappointed with the preferential treatment given to some of their colleagues. Bonuses and financial advantages linked to confinement due to Covid-19 were granted to some while excluding others. A smell of discrimination that sticks in your throat. The populations, convinced that the public authorities have received budgets as part of the distancing measures, consider that Covid-19 is a scam, a financial pit.

Still others, more clever in their argument to convince themselves of this scam, admit to not understanding a contradiction between two news items. On the one hand, the embezzlement of Covid-19 funds revealed by the Audit Chamber And on the other hand, decorations, in the form of rewards, of members of the Task Force who managed these Covid-19 funds. These are contradictions revealed particularly by the national and international press. Unfortunately, they left no one indifferent. Everyone curled up, relying on their initial fear. It was like convincing yourself and giving yourself a good reason not to get vaccinated.

But, far from me denying these contradictions, the truth is that Covid-19 was defeated because the money really flowed and it continues to flow. So much money has been pumped into it to the point where people are overwhelmed by the campaigns. Through repetition, they will end up believing in the seriousness of the danger and give in to vaccination. This was particularly the case for me. I couldn’t take it anymore and I couldn’t resist. I always asked myself “the others are going to get vaccinated, why not me?” “. Why didn’t they die after receiving their vaccine?

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And I finally get vaccinated

This fateful day arrives when I decide to go get vaccinated. One afternoon of January 24, 2024. I go to the Cité des Palmiers Hospital in Douala. I am directed to the Cité des Palmiers Health District just a stone’s throw away. I asked to be vaccinated, to the great amazement of everyone. Everyone stares at me. Surprised to see a Cameroonian come to take his vaccine himself.

CANAFCON2023 campaign poster for vaccination against Covid-19 and routine vaccination

In fact, we are in the period of a vaccination campaign against Covid-19 in Cameroon. A campaign launched by the initiative of a project called “Breakthrough ACTION”, funded by USAID. It is a project led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. The objective here is to guarantee primary health care. Two approaches chosen are based on two logics: approaches on social and behavioral change and on communication. This flood of communication about the vaccine and its merits made me change my mind.

Vaccination teams head onto the field during Indomitable Lions of Cameroon match days. Fan Zones are the places targeted by the teams. Impossible to vaccinate people at this moment watching the match while drinking their beer. An appointment is made the next day at the supporter’s home or place of service for vaccination if accepted. Obviously, it would not be possible to imagine a Cameroonian going to the health center to be vaccinated.

Article written with the help of Breakthrough ACTION.

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