Otumfuo Osei Tutu II taking their jabs
The national rollout of the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 kicked off smoothly yesterday in the Greater Accra Region with the eligible population taking their jabs at the various stipulated centres.
In all, 325 vaccination sites in the 25 epicentres of the pandemic in the capital are taking part in the exercise which requires a valid national identification card.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his Vice, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and their spouses set the tone by taking their jabs on Monday live on television.
Prominent personalities in the country followed suit yesterday to encourage the public to submit themselves for vaccination.
Former President John Dramani Mahama took his vaccine at the Police Hospital in Accra, Asantehene Otumfuo Tutu II and other top shots also took their vaccine yesterday.
The Ghana Health Service (GHS), leading the vaccination campaign, officially opened the process at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital in a brief ceremony.
Director General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Kumah Aboagye, recounted the country’s Covid-19 journey from lockdown to closure of schools to the ban on social gathering, all in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.
He said although the country is currently experiencing its second wave, the introduction of the vaccine (Covishield) under the COVAX facility was good news as the vaccine trained the body to be able to fight the disease.
“Ghana being the first country to be a recipient of the COVAX facility, it is right that we launch this and have the general population and other vulnerable groups vaccinated,” he said.
Greater Accra Regional Director of Health, Dr. Charity Sarpong, indicated that the vaccine was a game changer in the management and containment of Covid-19 in the region that had accounted for over 60 per cent of all recorded cases in the country.
“For us, our biggest headache has been how we break the transmission, so that people can live healthy lives without the fear of Covid-19,” she added.
Dr. Sarpong was therefore optimistic that with the introduction of the vaccine there was going to be a decrease in the number of cases recorded, people who would require hospitalization and the number of deaths from Covid-19.
She thus urged the eligible groups to take advantage of the opportunity and visit the centres for their Covid-19 vaccine while ensuring compliance to the safety protocols.
“I want to urge you to take advantage and ensure that you visit the nearest vaccination site for your vaccination,” she added.
UN Resident coordinator, Charles Abani, commended the government for the exceptional leadership shown since the commencement of the Covid-19 fight in the country.
“Ghana has been at the forefront in the Covid-19 fight to ensure that the lives of Ghanaians are saved and to put the country back in the global economy so this move in collaboration with the UN is no surprise,” he said.
Mr. Abani also lauded the ambition of the country to produce the Covid-19 vaccine locally, adding that it was a strong part of building self reliance for the country.
“The vaccine is safe and we will continue to provide the needed support to enable the country to build the future it desires,” he added.
Regional minister-designate, Henry Quartey, was full of praise for the exceptional leadership shown by the President and Vice President in taking the vaccine.
“This in itself is reassuring the good people of this country; today, I am here to also do it and I want to encourage all to take advantage and get vaccinated,” he said.
The ceremony was followed by the vaccination of dignitaries including government officials, health officers, traditional leaders and UN representatives.
Among the dignitaries that took the vaccine at the GARH were the members of the Council of state, Greater Accra Regional Minister-designate, Henry Qaurtey, Ga Manste, Dr. King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, Chief of Staff at the Presidency, Madam Frema Osei-Opare, Director General of Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, UN resident coordinator, Charles Abani.
The vaccination process started with the identification of the recipient by the show of a valid national identification card after which the personal information including the name, date of birth, sex, district and place of vaccination of the recipient are taken.
The recipient then moves to the next stage to have his or her vaccine jab after which a Covid-19 vaccination card containing the personal details and date of vaccination is issued.
“In case you experience any undesirable effect report to the nearest facility or call this number 0244310297,” portions of the card read.
Over 100 media practitioners, comprising GJA executives and members, officials of the National Media Commission and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association, also took their vaccination yesterday at the Ghana International Press Centre.
It is expected that more media practitioners and the eligible population will avail themselves for vaccination in the coming days.