AFCON: Covid-19 vaccine In-take rises in Cameroon

AFCON: Covid-19 vaccine In-take rises in Cameroon

COVID19 Vaccination

There has been a rise in vaccinations in Cameroon, the host country of the forthcoming African Football Confederation, scheduled for January 9 to February 6, 2022.

This is due to the forthcoming All Africa Cup of Nations, hosted in the country.

The AFP reports that many lovers of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon who had earlier avoided vaccine inoculation had begun to take the jabs.

AFCON had made the presentation of a negative PCR test card 72 hours before kick-off or an antigen test up to 24 hours before the games.

The football body had also announced that the stadiums for AFCON 2021 will only admit 60% of the estimated capacity of the stadiums while making a concession for the host country with an additional 10% when the Indomitable Lions play.

The coordinator of the Sports Palace of Yaounde vaccine centre, Lucien Mama told the news agency that, "There is clearly a CAN effect. We have gone from 10 people a day to more than 100 since Monday. This is increasing exponentially,"

"Until now, Cameroonians have refused to be vaccinated. The CAN has broken the psychological barriers and the hesitation," Mama added.

But stringent stadium entry requirements imposed by CAF could still deter supporters from attending matches.

Official statistics revealed that only 1.8 million (6%) adults, out of the entire population of the country (27 million) had taken the Covid-19 jabs. Many Cameroonians have also refused to wear face masks.

Larissa Kojoue, a researcher at Buea University in western Cameroon, said that a lot of Cameroonians are unwilling to take the jab because of various rumours, myths, and disinformation.

"The reluctance to be vaccinated is linked to a combination of factors," explains Larissa Kojoue, a researcher at Buea University in western Cameroon.

"It is firstly linked to ignorance about this still-recent disease, to the sometimes-chaotic handling of the epidemic in the country, and to disinformation," Kojoue said.

"That has come mainly from Europe and the United States, and... reached a large part of the population, starting with the elites," Kojoue said

The AFP reports that many Cameroonians believed that the jab could cause sterility among other myths.

A football enthusiast, Amougou said "I wanted to go to support the Indomitable Lions. We have been waiting for this moment for 50 years. But I will not go because I do not want to be vaccinated,"

"They give a product so that African women no longer give birth!" Amougou protested while talking to the AFP correspondent in the Central Market, in Yaounde.

The combination of both CAF restrictions and the compulsory vaccinations for entry may also hamper a group of Cameroonian football lovers, who have a feeling of resentment towards the AFCON games happening in their home country.

The CAF body has also announced that it would only admit half of the capacity of the stadiums of the host country leading to both a scramble to be vaccinated and a subtle skepticism about the guarantees of being admitted when inoculated with the vaccine.

However, Vincent Nemgne, a die-hard fan of the Indomitable Lions who receives the vaccine said "If I get the jab, it's just for the Indomitable Lions. I'm ready to die for them".

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon will be slugging it out with the Stallions of Burkina Faso on January 9, by 4PM at the Olembe Stadium in the state capital, Yaounde. Cameroon is in Group A with Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, and Ethiopia. The country which won 2017 AFCON Cup in Gabon, are considered the group favourites.


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