GHS Intensifies COVID-19 Vaccination As It Nears 10m

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has begun the 6th National COVID-19 Immunisation Days as it inches towards reaching 10 million fully vaccinated people.

The campaign themed, “Protect Yourself, Protect Your Family; Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19 NOW,” starts today 20th to 24th January, 2023 and includes young people aged 15 and above, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

Director-General of GHS, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye speaking at the launch in Accra, said a total of 9,806,758, representing 53.9 per cent of the targeted 18.2 million people have been fully vaccinated.

He further added that this represents 31 per cent of the Ghanaian population.

According to Dr. Kuma-Aboagye, persons who have received at least one dose currently stand at 12,878,326, representing 70.6 per cent of the 18.2 million target population.

This, he said, accounts for 40.6 per cent of the total population. Also, a total of 3,115,890 individuals have received their booster dose.

He stated that although there has been progress in the vaccination of the citizenry, a good number of the public still needs to be vaccinated to ensure the general protection of all individuals in the country, as COVID-19 is still present.

“Despite these significant strides we have chalked together over the past years, it is regrettable to note that we are still not out of the woods yet. COVID-19 is still with us, calling for rekindling our strategic partnership to reach the more significant proportion of the vaccine-eligible population that remains unvaccinated,” he shared.

Programme Manager for the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), Dr. Kwame Amponsah Achiano, said a total of 34,047,598 doses of vaccine have been received with 30,747,418 does administered so far leaving some 3,300,180 doses available.

He said the campaigns have shown to be an additional key strategy that gets a lot of persons vaccinated within a short period.

WHO Representative to Ghana, Dr. Francis Kasolo, in a speech read on his behalf, called on the Ministry of Health (MoH), the GHS and other health partners to institute sustained communication and the dissemination of factual information as misinformation and disinformation are still ripe within the public, causing hesitancy among unvaccinated groups.

“We need to improve interpersonal communication to help address information gaps. I would also like to appeal to our brothers and sisters in the media to use their platforms to disseminate right information about COVID-19 vaccination and immunisation in general. This is the surest way to protect our population from vaccine preventable diseases,” he said.

The sixth phase of the campaign will have 6,000 vaccination teams deployed across the country, employing both static and close-to-client strategies to reach distant areas.
The aim of this campaign is to administer some 1.4 million doses to the population, bringing the country closer to attaining herd immunity.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri & Abigail Atinuke Seyram Adeyemi