COVID-19 vaccination programme launched in Accra yesterday (March 2, 2021) A total of 3,321 people took the shot when the exercise started yesterday. Health workers topped the number of those vaccinated with 1,928, followed by security services with 443. Ninety-seven per cent of those who were vaccinated were in urban areas. The first phase of the exercise will see over 550,000 but less than 600,000 people being vaccinated from the first consignment of600,000 vaccine in the country. The government has authenticated two vaccines, Covishield and Sputnik-V, for use locally. The vaccine is a preventive measure to complement the safety protocols against the spread of COVID- 19 and also reduce the rate of deaths. The first phase, which began yesterday in 43 districts in three regions, will end on March 15, 2021. The second phase will see the vaccine being given to more than 550,00 people in 43 regions in Ghana in March 2021. It will be made available to everyone by the end of the second phase on March 20, 2021, it has been announced. The number of people vaccinated is expected to reach 5,000,000.
Per the national guidelines, beneficiaries are expected to be given the second dose between the next eight and 12 weeks. UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Charles Abani commended the government for the great leadership it had shown in the management of the global pandemic. He appealed to all members of the public to take advantage of the opportunity when it came to their turn. Even after getting vaccinated, Dr Kuma-Aboagye called on the public not to abandon the safety protocols. He explained that people would have to complement their immunity against the disease with the wearing of the face mask, adhering to hand and respiratory hygiene as well as social distancing.
The Greater Accra Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Mrs Charity Sarpong, who officially launched the programme on behalf of the GHS, said the exercise was very welcoming, particularly, for the GreaterAccra Region that had the highest infection rate and disease burden.
At least 20 million of the Ghanaian population will be vaccinated towards the delivery of 60 per cent herd immunity. The target groups under phase one include frontline health workers, adults aged 60 years and above. People with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, kidney diseases, hypertension and cancer are also among the target groups. The national vaccination plan which is guiding the exercise is aimed at at least 20million of theGhanaian population to be vaccinated.
The National Vaccination Program is a response to the World Health Organisation’s global call for an end to childhood diseases such as measles, tuberculosis, dengue fever and other infectious diseases in the last few years. It is also aimed at eliminating infectious diseases like malaria, tetanus, meningitis and certain strains of snakebite in the country. The campaign is expected to be completed by the end of this year. It has so far successfully vaccinated 7,000 people in the capital, Accra.