Fears of side effects fuel reluctance to get second jab of COVID-19 vaccines in Botswana

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GABORONE, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Fears of side effects, associated with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine when compared to other vaccines, could be possibly fueling reluctance to get their second a jab in Botswana, an official said Wednesday in an interview with Xinhua.

Data collected has shown that those who took the AstraZeneca vaccine as of Jan. 21. 2022, 12.9 percent of them have not turned up for their second jab, Christopher Nyanga, the spokesperson in Botswana's ministry of health and wellness, said.

Nyanga said it is true that there are some people who took the AstraZeneca vaccine and later on experienced some side effects which ranged from mild to severe.

"It is possible that those who experienced severe side-effects could be reluctant to turn up for second doses," Nyanga said.

Botswana will, however, continue with public education about the importance of taking COVID-19 vaccination in full including turning up for booster shots, given the benefits that COVID-19 vaccines have in protecting people against the pandemic, he said.

The southern African country currently has more than 3 million doses of various COVID-19 vaccines on hand for the vaccination of all Batswana and residents of the country aged 12 years and above, said Nyanga.

At least 70 percent of the eligible population of an estimated 1.6 million in the southern African country has been fully vaccinated while 50 percent is still waiting for the second jab where 245,904 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded and 2,965 related deaths.

AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac and Moderna have been used to vaccinate people in Botswana. Enditem

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