During the early COVID-19 vaccine campaigns in South Sudan, Gabon and Somalia, just 30% of people vaccinated were women—raising concerns that women were being left behind across Africa as well as Asia and the Middle East, the AP reports.
Possible reasons include:
- Some women need their husbands’ permission.
- They may lack technology to schedule vaccinations.
- Others are reluctant to risk missing work because of side-effects.
Another major issue: Misinformation.
- Some women are concerned by disproven rumors that the vaccine causes infertility.
- A woman in Gambia shared with an AP reporter a viral video of a woman with a spoon stuck to her arm. She claimed the COVID-19 vaccine had “magnetized” her.
The Quote: “We do see, unfortunately, that even as COVID vaccines arrive in Africa after a long delay, women are being left behind,” said Abdahalah Ziraba, with the African Population and Health Research Center. “This could mean they will suffer a heavier toll during the pandemic.”