On Wednesday, the government took delivery of 600,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Officials who speak on health issues on behalf of the government say we should expect up to at least 20 million doses because the country hopes to achieve herd immunity by October, this year.
Herd immunity refers to a situation where a large part of the population becomes immune to a disease to make its spread from person to person unlikely.
The procurement of the vaccines clearly attests to the efforts being made by the government to contain the coronavirus and, for that matter, the COVID-19 pandemic in our dear country.
According to the Ghana Health Service, as of February 19, this year , the disease had affected 80,759 people in the country, out of which 73,365 had recovered, 582 had died and the rest being active cases.
The devastation of COVD-19 cannot be discounted, which is why the Ghanaian Times commends the government for all its efforts to contain it, and thus curtail its devastation.
The 600,000 doses now in the country are meant for health workers, adults above 60 years, people with underlying health conditions, frontline executive, the legislature, the judiciary and their related staff, frontline security personnel, some religious leaders, essential workers, teachers and other professionals.
The first phase of the vaccination which is expected to take off on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, will take place exclusively in Greater Accra Metropolitan area, including Awutu Senya and Awutu Senya East in the Central Region and in the Great Kumasi Metro and Obuasi Municipality in health facilities and other designated places.
In fact, Ghana was chosen to be the first recipient of the WHO COVAX COVID-19 doses in Africa because of its roll-out plan proving its healthcare teams and cold chain equipment among other well-placed factors.
The Ghanaian Times is only worried that in spite of all this preparation, people are spreading conspiracy theories to the effect that the vaccines are rather meant to harm blacks, including Ghanaians, rather than protect them.
The truth is that before a jab of any vaccine is given to any human, it would have gone through trials on animals whose system is close to that of humans. Even after these trials, clinical trials follow before other people can be given jabs.
This should therefore put the hearts and minds of people at rest that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe.
But we should remember that the vaccination would not immediately stop the spread of the virus because first, its segmentation nature means others can spread it.
Second, the vaccination does not ensure 100 per cent immunity to the disease. Even when herd immunity is achieved with 20 million Ghanaians receiving the doses, we would still have to know that there will be a portion of our over 30-million population who would have not received the jabs.
Therefore, while we all expect the COVID-19 containment to improve, the Ghanaian Times wishes to appeal that we should continue to observe the COVID-19 protocol of washing our hands under running water, wearing of nose masks, social distancing and other such things, as well as personal hygiene and managing underlying health conditions.