President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to receive the first dose of the 600,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines which arrived in the country on Wednesday.
Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, who disclosed this said the move “is to assure Ghanaians that the vaccines are safe.”
He added that “other reactions like headache, dizziness, or pains are all usual with every vaccination.”
With Ghana recording more than 80,000 cases and over 580 deaths on account of the virus, Dr Nsiah-Asare noted that it will be in the interest of the country, for Ghanaians to avail themselves to be vaccinated when that opportunity came.
“We encourage everyone to avail him or herself of the opportunity to be vaccinated. It is safe and we want other Ghanaians abroad to also put out their videos to encourage others in Ghana”.
Ghana received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines through a UN-backed global vaccine-sharing scheme (COVAX) as part of efforts to enable equitable access to the jabs by low and middle income countries.
The consignment, which arrived at the Kotoka International Airport, consisted of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines, are expected to be administered first to frontline health workers, and high-risk persons and people over 60 years, to slow the progression of the disease.
The vaccines are produced by the Serum Institute of India.
Immunisation On March 2
Ghanaians are expected to receive COVID-19 vaccines from March 2.
Information Minister-designate Kojo Oppong Nkrumah indicated that the AstraZeneca vaccine was made by the Serum Institute of India (Covishield).
“This is the first consignment of vaccines acquired through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) which Ghana, among 92 countries, has signed unto,” he announced, stressing that the vaccination will be conducted in phases among segmented populations.
According to him, “the first segment of the population that will receive from the 600,000 doses will be health workers, adults 60 years and over, people with underlying health conditions, frontline executive, legislature, judiciary and their related staff, frontline security personnel, some religious leaders, essential workers and teachers.”
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said other people in Greater Accra Metro including Awutu Senya and Awutu Senya East in the Central Region will receive the doses.
“A similar segmented population in the Greater Kumasi Metro and Obuasi municipality will also be covered”, he added.
The 600,000 AstraZeneca doses are the first consignment of vaccines that the Akufo-Addo administration has applied for to vaccinate about 20 million people in Ghana to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah who is also the Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi constituency said from March 2, the vaccines will be deployed in health facilities and designated centres in the aforementioned geographical regions.
He said government remains resolute at ensuring the welfare of the citizenry and is making frantic efforts to acquire adequate vaccines to cover the entire population through bilateral and multilateral agencies.
The Information Minister-designate urged the populace to do their part by ensuring that they get vaccinated when the vaccine gets to them.
“We acknowledge the hard work of the technical teams from the Ghana Health Service, the Health and Information Ministries, the COVID-19 Task Force and all those who have assisted in getting us this far.
“Our development partners are also acknowledged for their tremendous financial and technical support. It is our hope that they will continue to support us in our sustained efforts in combating this virus and putting Covid-19 behind us.”