Since the official launch of the administration of the 3rd dose of the anti-covid vaccine on October 4, only 402,423 people have benefited to date according to the Ministry of Health. A figure considered low by observers, compared to the expectations of the competent authorities at a time when D1 is also slowing down, according to the scientific committee.
Some have even criticized the lack of communication and awareness on the part of the Ministry of Health on the 3rd dose, something which has heightened the fears and skepticism of the population. In this sense, several questions were raised, mainly the lack of awareness and communication on the 3rd dose, while a category of citizens has still not adhered to the D1.
MoroccoLatestNews spoke with several members of the scientific committee for the response against Covid-19 in order to have their opinion on this slowdown, or not, of the administration of the D3 or the weak communication about it.
According to Dr. Tayeb Hamdi, physician and researcher in health policies and systems, the launch of the national vaccination campaign in January 2021, had also slowed down at the beginning. To date, the injection of D1 and D2 are still in progress in addition to the addition of the administration of 3e dose, which is not logistically easy to manage, he emphasizes.
Now the authorities are in the process of setting up sites dedicated to the injection of 3e dose in addition to special communication to the target population, he said.
Regarding communication on the 3rd dose, Dr. Hamdi believes that “ unfortunately, it was necessary to communicate 3 to 4 weeks before on the D3. Something that was not done since the launch date was still unknowne ”, he emphasizes
” However, what happened is that the launch was announced on a Friday via a statement inviting target people to be vaccinated on Monday. These were not prepared for the 3e dose and began to wonder. Which is very logical and legitimate. As a result, there was a delay in launching a communication and awareness campaign to explain to people why a 3e dose“, Confides this member of the scientific committee.
A lack of communication and awareness justified by Dr. Hamdi due to the fact that the launch of the D3 was urgent, since it had been the subject of debate for two months already.
” But the decision was delayed, so that officially, the ministry could not communicate on the usefulness of a third dose while the decision was not yet made. When the decision was made, we had to act quickly, particularly because of the winter season. There were a lot of people who far exceeded the 6 months of injecting the first two doses and it was therefore necessary to act quickly.“, Explains our interlocutor.
A virtual absence on social networks
On the internet or even social networks, the Ministry of Health shines with its lack of communication and awareness of D3. Apart from the two press releases announcing the agreement of the scientific committee for the administration of D3 and the launch date, no other communication was observed on the benefits of D3 to convince the most skeptics.
Dr. Hamdi confirms that communication was almost absent, noting that there were some media outlets from ministry officials urging people to join the 3e dose. But that did not officially answer citizens’ questions, he concedes.
” The members of the scientific committee are responsible for explaining scientifically why it is necessary to be vaccinated with D3. But there was no ministerial awareness campaign on the subject. There are also the media (televisions, radios, written press) which have done their part of the job by communicating on the issue and trying to inform people, but independently of the Ministry of Health. Since the role of the media is to ask questions. And this is already a way to educate the population“, Considers the specialist.
All these elements, continues Dr. Hamdi, ” cause the injection of 3e dose starts in slow motion. As well as the launch of the administration of the 1st dose in January, which was done in slow motion, as well as the 2e dose“, He emphasizes.
But we must catch up now, argues the specialist. ” We are in the middle of the winter season where viruses spread very quickly. People are living more and more in close proximity during this season. So it is a season that is favorable for the spread of the virus, regardless of the new mutations that may appear. At least the target groups must be vaccinated at D3 (elderly people, health and safety personnel, comorbidity, etc.) to protect them and protect those around them “, He explains
On the other hand, Dr. Said Afif, member of the anti-covid vaccination committee, believes that there is no slowing down in the administration of D3. For him, idling is observed at the level of the 1D dose.
” According to official figures, we started on the first day of administration of the D3 with 2,000 beneficiaries. Yesterday, Wednesday, October 13, 33,915 received the D1, 148,136 received the D2 against 60,364 who received the D3, until 2 p.m. Other people had to be vaccinated after 2 p.m. For children aged 12-17, more than 70,000 benefited from D2 on Tuesday“, Advances the specialist who reassures us that” everything is going well“.
In addition, Dr. Afif believes that an effort must be made on the D1, which is slowing down, to achieve collective immunity as quickly as possible.
MoroccoLatestNews also approached the Ministry of Health on the communication strategy adopted to sensitize target categories to adhere to D3. But unfortunately, the department returned that very day to Khalid Ait Taleb, does not have any information on this subject.