WHO encourages women to take Covid-19 vaccines

WHO encourages women to take Covid-19 vaccines

World Health Organisation (WHO) has dismissed disinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccine towards women’s fertility.

 WHO clarified that the vaccine does not cause infertility in women, neither does it affect a pregnant woman when after taking the dose.

“We are recommending [that] women who are pregnant or who want to get pregnant [should] get vaccinated because it [COVID] is risky for the fetus.  If a woman contracts COVID-19 it is very bad,” said the WHO COVID-19 Incident Manager in South Sudan Dr. Sacha Bootsma.

“You don’t want to have COVID-19 and be pregnant [and] that is why we are highly recommending [that],” Dr. Bootsma said.

She was responding to the persistent misperception that the COVID-19 vaccine can lead to infertility in women.

Bootsma said there is a piece of scientific evidence to show that there is absolutely no negative impact of the vaccine on pregnancy or fertility.

“There is a very negative impact from having COVID-19 and being pregnant on the baby and the mother,’’ she emphasized.

The plea from the WHO boss will add more persuasion after the country’s health officials called on women to be vaccinated.

For instance, on September 15, the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Health Dr. Victoria Anib Majur appealed to women to get their jabs of Johnson and Johnson.

She also dismissed the same perception among the women that vaccines could lead to infertility

“I want to encourage you not to listen to rumors out there that the vaccines cause infertility; the vaccines do not cause infertility,” she stressed.

Dr. Majur made the statement during the reception of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at the Juba International Airport.

According to the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO), the current vaccination coverage in the country indicates the cumulative number of women vaccinated so far is 26.4 percent with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

WHO is urging the population to debunk the rumors about women’s infertility due to the vaccine saying it is fake news.

Another factor attributed to the low uptake of the vaccine by women is the possibility of being stopped by their husbands.

The Director for Prevention Health Services at the Ministry of Health Dr. John Rumunu lamented that so far the country is struggling with a 0.3 percent uptake rate after completing the two batches of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“Females to males ratio of 1:3. Despite this, Johnson and Johnson are going to help the country improve the coverage with COVID-19 vaccines. So far we are struggling with the 0.3 percent after finishing the AstraZeneca,” he explained.

According to World Health Organisation, the world target for the COVID-19 vaccination is meant to be 10 percent, however, South Sudan stands at 0.3 percent even after completing the two batches of the AstraZeneca Vaccine.

“Hopefully after completing the Johnson and Johnson vaccination in South Sudan, we will have 1.7 percent of the population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 because it is a single dose,” Dr. Rumunu said.

“But again it will be far from the target of 30 percent from December,” he added.

South Sudan’s target for the September 30 is to get a 0.5 percent vaccinated population since COVID-19 was confirmed in the country.

At least 107,006 people were vaccinated of all the doses. 76,498 people were vaccinated in the first dose, and 30,508 people were vaccinated fully in the first and second batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine.