Let’s get vaccinated to defeat COVID-19

 The government took advantage of the emer­gence of COVID-19 vaccines by putting in place arrangements to vaccinate the people against the pandemic.

It will be recalled that Ghana rolled out its COVID-19 vac­cination on March 1, 2021.

The roll-out was targeted at over 20 million out of the country’s population in order to achieve herd or commu­nity immunity but the figure is reviewed to 18.2 million currently.

Herd immunity occurs when a larger portion of the population of the communi­ty (at least some 60 per cent) becomes immune to a disease so that its spread from person to person becomes unlikely, thereby protecting the whole community. However, for lack of enough jabs, the roll-out was done in phases.

For instance, the first phase was targeted at persons ‘most at risk and frontline State officials’.

This group included health­care workers, frontline secu­rity personnel, persons with underlying medical conditions diabetes, persons 60 years and above, and frontline members of the Exec­utive, Legislature and Judiciary.

The second was for oth­er essential service pro­viders and the rest of the security agencies, followed by the rest of the general public, being all persons over 18 years, except for pregnant women.

The final phase includ­ed pregnant mothers and persons under the age of 18 who were to be vac­cinated when an appro­priate vaccine had been found, or when enough safety data on the pres­ent vaccines had become available.

It was said then that special arrangements would be made for per­sons with disabilities who fell within those groups.

In spite of those well-crafted arrangements, the campaign suffered certain wrecks, particularly the refusal of some mem­bers of the general public to go for the jabs, giving all manner of excuses.

In the midst of all those challenges, the Ghana Health Service (GHS), the government organisation spearheading the cam­paign, did not and still has not relented in its efforts to get the country protect­ed against the pandemic.

The GHS reports that as of January 13, 2023, a total of 22,575,515 people in the country had been vaccinated.

It explains that 12,878,326 (being 70.6 per cent of the 18.2 million target) had received one jab, while 9,806, 758 (53.9 per cent of the 18.2 million) had been fully vaccinated.

Also, 3,115,890 had received the booster.

To add to its achieve­ments, the GHS rolled out the 6th edition of the Nationwide COVID-19 Vaccine Days Campaign

 NaCVaDs) yesterday, target­ing 1.4 million people across the country.

The five-day campaign would end on Tuesday, January 24.

Unfortunately, the GHS says in spite of its relentless efforts, it is stunned to see that the country has not reached its COVID-19 immunisation target yet.

The current exercise is, therefore, meant to bring Ghana closer to attaining herd immunity.

To this end, particularly those who have not taken the dose at all must take advantage and get vaccinated.

Besides the vaccination, all of us must follow the COVID-19 prevention proto­col, including wearing of face mask and hand hygiene.

The devastation of COVID-19 should prompt all Ghanaians to discard the negative perception about the vaccination and listen to only the health professionals as a way of helping to defeat COVID-19, dispel every fear around it and reduce the coun­try’s disease burden.

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