Ghana took delivery of its first consignment of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines in Accra yesterday.
The consignment, which contained 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines, arrived at the Kotoka International Airport in the early hours of the morning.
Ghana was selected as the first recipient after sending a rollout plan to Covax proving its health-care teams and cold chain equipment were ready to support a quick distribution.
Present at the airport to receive the consignment was a high powered government delegation led the Minister of Health-designate, Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu.
The 600,000 doses constitute the first batch of consignments procured by government through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) which Ghana, among 92 countries, has signed onto.
The vaccines were made by the Serum Institute of India (Covishield).
In a statement issued to clarify issues with Ghana’s consignment, the Information Minister designate, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the COVID-19 vaccination exercise which would commence soon would be done in phases.
He explained that the phases of the exercise would be done among segmented populations and the first segment of the population that would receive from the 600,000 doses would be health workers, adults above the age of 60 years, people with underlying health conditions, frontline executive, legislature, judiciary and their related staff.
Others would include frontline security personnel, some religious leaders, essential workers, teachers and other personalities in Greater Accra Metro including Awutu Senya and Awutu Senya East in the Central Region.
The Minister designate explained that a similar segmented population in the
Greater Kumasi Metro and Obuasi municipality would also be covered.
He said “From March 2, the COVID-19 vaccines will be deployed in health facilities and designated centres in these geographical regions.”
Mr Nkrumah said government remained resolute at ensuring the welfare of all Ghanaians and was making frantic efforts to acquire adequate vaccines to cover the entire population through bilateral and multi-lateral agencies.
“We urge you to do your part by ensuring that you get vaccinated when the vaccine gets to you.
“We acknowledge the hard work of the technical teams from the Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Information, 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,” he said.
Mr Nkrumah said it was the hope of government that the various development partners would continue to support the country in its sustained efforts in combating the virus and putting COVID-19 behind us.
Meanwhile the government has intensified the campaign to clear the minds of the public on some misconceptions about the vaccine.
The country has been battling the pandemic since March last year and it is the hope that, the arrival of the vaccines will help abate the devastating effect of the pandemic.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL