National Covid-19 Vaccination Underway

Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare, Presidential advisor on health taking his vaccine jab at the GARH

The national rollout of the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 kicked off smoothly today 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 epi-centres 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 today to encourage the public to submit themselves for vaccination.

Former President John Dramani Mahama took his vaccine at Police Hospital in Accra, Asantehene Otumfuo Tutu II and other top shots have also taken their vaccine.

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) leading the vaccination campaign officially opened the process at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (GARH) 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 is good news as the vaccine trains the body to be able to fight the virus.

“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 is a game changer in the management and containment of Covid-19 in the region that has 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. Charity 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 centers 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 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 is 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 to 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 Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, UN resident coordinator, Charles Abani.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri