By Landing Ceesay
The Health Minister has said that Gambia have a robust system to verify vaccines before their introduction in the country.
“Certainly, before vaccines are introduced in any country they go through a lot of processes. They go through [a] robust checks and balances. Of course, one of the most important steps is to get vaccines from the very right source. We always rely on recognized institutions for the supply of vaccines. We have already seen in certain areas individuals talking about supplying vaccines to countries. The Gambia is not taking those offers; the Gambia is getting vaccines from recognized international sources.
“Even with those, a lot of paperwork is done with regards to verification; a lot of information is supplied to the country back and forth. We sent this information to the medicine control agency of the Gambia that looks at all this available information supplied by the vaccine manufacturers and suppliers before we get a go-ahead. So we have a robust system in place to ensure that the vaccines we are having in the country are properly verified,” Dr Ahmadou Lamin Samateh said in response to the question on whether or not The Gambia have a system to verify the covid-19 vaccines in light of the lots of misinformation and disinformation surrounding the vaccines.
He cited the National Immunisation Technical Advisory Group [NITAG] as the expert group, which endorses all types of vaccines in The Gambia before use.
“In the country, we have the National Immunisation Technical Advisory Group [NITAG] which is a group of experts that looks at these vaccines, they look at what prevails elsewhere, the type of vaccines we are getting and they also look at all vaccine-related issues whether is covid-19, polio vaccine or any other vaccines.”
Samateh expressed that it is unfortunate that people spreading misinformation and disinformation would always continue doing it even though they have no evidence for their claims.
“Unfortunately, people, who give this misinformation don’t give-up, as I answered this one [question], they will come up with another one. Unfortunately, what keeps on puzzling me is what their motives are. Why people will be interested without evidence to misinform people?” Dr Samateh stated.