The 6TH edition of the Nationwide COVID-19 Vaccine Days Campaign (NaCVaDs) has been launched in Accra, targeting 1.4 million people across the country.
The five-day campaign starts today and ends on Tuesday, January 24.
The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, who launched the campaign said since COVID-19 struck the country, they had been working tirelessly with stakeholders to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, but were stunned to see that they had not reached their target.
“Despite the 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,” he said.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye hinted that COVID-19 was still lingering, calling for rekindling their strategic partnership to reach the more significant proportion of the vaccine-eligible population that remains unvaccinated.
He stated that, the Ministry of Health (MoH) through GHS and its partners launched NaCVaDs last year, as part of strategies to intensify vaccine uptake in the country.
This, he said had helped increase the total number of administered doses from 13.8 million last year to 22.6 million doses this year.
“Since then, five series of these campaigns have been held across all districts in the country, moving the total number of administered doses from 13.8 million as of the end of April 2022 to a whopping 22.6 million doses as of January 13 this year,” Dr Kuma-Aboagye noted.
Furthermore, persons receiving at least one dose was now 70.6 per cent of the 18.2 million target population, while about 54 per cent of the target population had been fully vaccinated and over three million persons had received booster doses.
He recounted that despite these numbers, they still had a significantly large proportion of the population not vaccinated.
Therefore, he said 6000 vaccination teams would be deployed across the country to employ both “static and close-to-client strategies” to reach the ‘unreached’.
“This will help us administer the 1.4 million doses we aimed at, bringing Ghana closer to attaining herd immunity,” he added.
He noted that vaccination remained the most effective way of protecting people against the COVID-19 disease, which was “safe, effective and free, prevent severe hospitalisation and death” and eligible for people above 15 years including pregnant women.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye pleaded with opinion leaders including chiefs, pastors, fetish priests, elders in communities to encourage their people to come out in their numbers to get vaccinated and keep safe.
Dr Elizabeth Juma, Medical Officer-Tropical and Vector Borne Diseases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Office for Ghana, said Ghana was touted as one of the countries that effectively managed to control the COVID-19 pandemic through the use of non-therapeutic measures.
She expressed her profound gratitude to the MoH and GHS for the unwavering commitment to the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines despite competing public health emergencies.
Dr Juma said WHO would work closely with MoH and GHS to achieve the vaccination objects of protecting people from the disease and protecting the health system, fully restart economies.
Representative of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)-Ghana, Mr Fiachra McAsey, said while the last campaign successfully vaccinated 780,000 people with one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines, Ghanaians still needed to stay vigilante and take their vaccines when the opportunity arises.
BY CECILIA LAGBA