Authorities in Ivory Coast are using the African Cup of Nations to boost the campiagn of vaccination against Covid-19.
As supporters flocked to fan zones in the capital, Abidjan, on Thursday to watch the match against Algeria the health authorities set up vaccination points to encourage people to get vaccinated.
“The Ivory Coast is playing right now. Without the vaccine we cannot go out or travel far in the country, so I have to do my vaccine in the middle of the African Cup because I want to go out. I’m a driver, so I have to get my vaccine”, said Kevin Kodja, a football supporter.
Less than 9% of the population in Ivory Coast has been vaccinated.
The predominance of the omicron variant has led to a spike in the infections.
For many supporters, getting vaccinated is about having access to places.
“If you haven’t had the vaccine, there are lots of things that will be closed to you… I prefer to do it so that there aren’t barriers in the areas that I want to go”, said Samuel Kouassi, another football supporter.
Ahead of Thursday’s game, healthworkers worked hard to raise awareness about COVID-19, handing out leaflets and ensuring fans were wearing masks and in keeping with preventative measures.
“Thousands of supporters have come from all over Abidjan to come and support their teams so the Health Ministry decided to erect vaccination sites. So we are here, to ensure the scrupulous respect of preventative measures” reassured health worker, Serge Yao.
The authorities hope that this initiative will help boost the number of vaccinated people in the country.