SENEGAL: Bishops Vaccinated, Call on Countrymen to Follow in Their Footsteps

DAKAR, MARCH 2, 2021 (CISA) – Catholic Bishops in Senegal have urged the Senegalese to get vaccinated against Covid-19 to slow the progression of the pandemic.

“At the start of Lent, we prayed to stem this disease. With the arrival of the vaccine, we can say that our prayers are answered,” Archbishop Emeritus of Dakar, Cardinal Théodore Adrien Sarr said after taking his first dose of Sinopharm vaccine on February 26.

The vaccination followed the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 that was launched on February 23.

Bishop Martin Boucar Tine of Kaolack reminded the Senegalese of the need to be vaccinated. He also urged them to continue with other efforts such as wearing masks, washing hands and physical distancing to help eradicate the pandemic.

“We must understand that blocking the road to Covid-19 also involves taking vaccines,” Bishop Martin said.

“We must take this opportunity to give thanks to God and also thank those who gave themselves body and soul to grant countries these doses,” he added.

Muslim leaders have also taken part in raising awareness in favor of the vaccine, those who have been vaccinated call upon other Muslims to receive the vaccination and continue respecting the measures against the pandemic.

Sufi brotherhood of Medina Baye, a religious guide in Kaolack (Center-West) after receiving his first dose of vaccine said that vaccination is the best way for the moment to avoid Covid-19. He called on skeptics to stop distilling negative rumors and conspiracy theories about the dangerousness of the vaccine.

The Senegalese government by targeting the religious leaders intends to reassure the populations of the reliability of the vaccine and make them adhere to the current mass vaccination campaign.

On February 17, Senegal received 200,000 doses of the vaccine against Covid-19 from the Chinese laboratory Sinopharm (which claims an effectiveness of 79%).

On February 28, the country received 1.3 million free doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine under the solidarity program led by the United Nations. It also received consumables such as injection syringes from the joint initiative “Covax” – the mechanism of the World Health Organization, for a group purchase of vaccines.

The Senegalese Ministry of Health and Social Action has prioritized health personnel and people aged over 60. More than 25,000 Senegalese have already been vaccinated against Covid-19. Senegal has to date reported more than 34,520 Covid-19 positive cases, with more than 28,894 cured, more than 872 deaths and more than 4,753 still under treatment.