Women in South Sudan shy away from COVID-19 jabs

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WHO warns of low COVID-19 vaccine consumption in South Sudan. Source: WHO South Sudan
WHO warns of low COVID-19 vaccine consumption in South Sudan. Source: WHO South Sudan

Women in South Sudan are shying away from getting COVID-19 vaccines despite the country’s struggle against the pandemic with 11,936 infections and 128 deaths, official data shows.

Victoria Anib Majur, a senior health ministry official, told Anadolu Agency that the number of women turning up to receive COVID-19 jabs was very low compared to men.

“With the support of UNICEF, we recently conducted a survey that showed fewer women are turning up for vaccination at health centers because of the rumors that the vaccine causes infertility. We’re trying to create awareness,” she said.

Majur said that though demand for vaccines was now high, fewer women are turning up to get the jab, a trend that has become a source of concern.

The country’s director-general of preventive health, Atem Riak, said the latest figures showed that the total number of women inoculated stood at 19,890 which is 26.4 percent of the people vaccinated so far.

“In comparison, 55,375 men got jabs, which are 73.6 percent of the people vaccinated so far against the virus,” he said.

He said the number of women should be at least half of the total people vaccinated, or the same amount as men.

Several women that Anadolu Agency spoke to revealed that rumors that the jabs cause infertility is a major factor keeping them away from vaccination centers.

Pita John, a 24-year-old mother of two children working in a restaurant in the Konyokonyo market, said she was not interested in getting vaccinated because it caused a lot of problems, including infertility.

“I’m not willing to go for vaccination. Why should I go for a vaccine that will bring serious problems? Many people are saying the vaccine causes infertility,” she said expressing her concerns.

Mary Katmala, a 30-year-old mother of three, shared John’s fears.

“I still want more children. So, there’s no need for me to take the vaccine that causes infertility. I’d rather die from COVID-19 if that is the case.”

 

Original article published by Anadolu Agency

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