Syrians Between Turnout and Fear of the COVID-19 Vaccine

As Syria rolls out its vaccination plan, turnout is increasing but some are still fearful, according to al-Watan.
Syrians Between Turnout and Fear of the COVID-19 Vaccine

During its tour yesterday at vaccine centers in rural Damascus, Al-Watan monitored a remarkable turnout of citizens to receive the vaccine. One noteworthy element of the turnout was the increased presence of young people at the vaccine centers.

Those interviewed by al-Watan stressed that increased awareness of the pandemic’s seriousness and the vaccine’s importance had reached young people. Some older people highlighted the importance of receiving the vaccine to protect them from the complications of COVID-19 infection and the threat that COVID-19 poses to people with chronic diseases in particular.

On the other hand, a number of citizens in neighborhoods of Damascus and its Countryside, who did not receive the vaccine, expressed fears about the vaccine and complications stemming from it. Some referred to social media posts indicating the possibility of death for vaccine recipients within two years.

Read Also: WHO Counters Surge in Delta Virus with Largest Vaccines Delivery to Date into Northwest Syria

Others also expressed ignorance of the different types of vaccine (e.g. Chinese, Russian etc.), the advantages of each vaccine type, and possible complications stemming from them. They demanded that the Ministry of Health and the Syndicate of Doctors conduct media awareness campaigns about the vaccine and its side effects.

Health Minister Hassan Mohammed al-Ghabash revealed that 80,000 people had received the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the national campaign. The campaign involved providing second doses of the vaccine to teachers and employees in various institutions, whose employees have direct contact with recipients. Ghabash pointed out that closer controls had been introduced for storing the vaccines and administering them safely to recipients.

During a tour of several official vaccine centers in Damascus and its countryside yesterday, Ghabash said that the ministry has approved 210 accredited centers within health centers and 41 hospitals. These static centers are supplemented by 200 mobile teams spread throughout most governorates. The mobile teams are especially active in the northern and northeastern regions, as well as areas that are difficult to reach.

Nader al-Qaq, head of the Harasta Health District, told Al-Watan that the campaign, which began last week, runs for ten days. Citizens do not need to wait for a message or register through the platform. “The campaign has lifted the burden from citizens; it is sufficient to visit any center and receive the vaccine.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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