Grand Bassa Hits 71% COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage
25 July 2022
The far-reaching dream of Liberia attaining the global target of fully vaccinating 70% of the total population against COVID-19 is reaching reality.
The World Health Organization Liberia Representative Dr Peter Clement accompanied the Minister of Health-Honorable Wilhelmina Jallah, to congratulate the Grand Bassa County Health Team for the great work the county has done, having attained 71% COVID-19 vaccination coverage for the total county population.
Liberia has six big counties out of the 15 that hold most of Liberia's population-and Grand Bassa is one. The Grand Bassa County Health Officer, Dr Sylvester Wheh, expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the support the county received from the national level in enabling the county to attain success.
"It hasn’t been an easy road, but we have been supported through and through by our national headquarters and WHO. This indeed motivated us as a team to work harder to achieve more, and yes, together we made it",said Dr Wheh.
"I am very proud that our big counties are setting the trend. First it was Nimba, then Lofa, and now Grand Bassa. We congratulate you on a job well done; this is important for the country. Even for vaccination coverage among health workers, Liberia is way on top of the charts—thank you," said Minister Jallah.
She further added that it is because of the achievements that the country has cordially made, that Liberia is now classified as a low-risk country for COVID-19.
"When the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm, Liberia was not spared. We all know what we went through as a country and how we survived as individuals—it was a rough journey. Vaccines came in 2021 with many unknowns, coupled with myths and misconceptions, and we gradually introduced the vaccines from the central level to the counties, "said Dr. Clement.
"In all the four peaks of the pandemic, the more cases we saw, indicated the greater need to vaccinate more people with an aim of attaining herd immunity. The counties committed to making sure the people got vaccinated and we saw the progress, and it is evident that giving the power to the counties, with strong community engagement and promoting community ownership of the process - produces greater results- Congratulations-we are proud of you", narrated Dr Clement.
"Our vaccinators are our foot soldiers; they deliver even through the most difficult climate conditions and walk long distances to get the work done—the superintendents, community leaders, they are all appreciated," said Dr. Clement.
Moving forward, the county was challenged to reach the global target of 90% by December, 2022. Additionally, the county was further advised to devise strategies on integrating COVID-19 vaccination into routine immunization.
Climaxing the event, various awards were presented to team players that delivered exceptionally in making the success a reality, with an award also presented to the county for its exceptional performance in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign for Liberia.
Grand Bassa is the third county in Liberia to achieve more than 70% coverage of the COVID-19 vaccination against its total county population of 296,560, where at least 210,631 persons aged 12 years and above have received COVID-19 vaccination. The UN in Liberia, in collaboration with other counterparts, has immensely supported the Ministry of Health in the COVID-19 response, both technically, materially, and financially. Today, Liberia, now standing at 54%, is one of the eight countries in Africa that have fully vaccinated between 40-70% of their national populations, making it the only country in West Africa to have reached this milestone. This has been possible with support from the COVAX facility and various partners including the US Government, Germany, Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs-France(MEAE),ECHO,CDC and USAID.