GHS Begins Nationwide COVID-19 Vaccination Drive

Key persons at the launch

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has launched the 7th National Covid-19 Vaccination Days (NaCVaDs) campaign targeting 4 million unvaccinated people.

The nationwide vaccination starts today, Wednesday July 19, 2023 till Sunday July 23, 2023.

According to the GHS, the country has delivered 26 million doses with about 14 million people receiving at least a dose representing 76  per cent of the targeted and 5 million doses doing out boosters.

The GHS, however, noted that there is a huge unvaccinated population hence the campaign.

Director General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, launching the campaign in Accra said the declaration of COVId-19 as no longer a public health emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in May 2023, did not imply that the pandemic was over.

He said there was currently one active COVID-19 case in the Greater Accra Region and that vaccination was important for the country to achieve herd immunity.

“The appreciation for country context for the Covid-19 situation is crucial. The vaccine effort does not end with the standing down of the public health emergency of international concern announcement by the WHO because periodic spikes may occur as immunity wanes overtime. This may require periodic boosting,” he said.

Extended Programme on Immunization manager at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Kwame Amponsa-Achiano added that the misinterpretation of the declassification of Covid-19 as a public health emergency by the WHO, rumours, misinformation, and disinformation are major causes for the hesitancy amongst some citizens to take or continue with the vaccination.

He explained that the inability of these persons to vaccinate poses a challenge to the country’s goal to attain herd immunity.

WHO Representative, Dr. Francis Kasolo highlighted the need for the public to be involved in the upcoming campaign.

“The future trajectory of the pandemic remains unknown. The continuous transmission of the OMNICRON variant poses a threat to key populations including the elderly, persons with underlying medical conditions, healthcare workers and pregnant women and thus a minor decrease in vaccine effectiveness overtime can translate into a rise in cases of severe diseases and deaths,” he stated.

Regional Director of Health Service in the Greater Accra region, Dr. Charity Sarpong, advised the public to remain vigilant because the pandemic is not yet over.

“It is of outmost importance that we ensure every eligible person receives full vaccination to safeguard the progress we have made and prevent future outbreaks,” she said.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri & Abigail Atinuke Seyram Adeyemi