Second dose AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccinations begins slowly in Accra

The vaccination exercise for the second dose of AstraZeneca Vaccines yesterday experienced a slow start in some Health facilities in Accra. 

The nationwide exercise which cover persons who took their first shot of the vaccines from arch 10 to March 29, 2021 and expected to end on Saturday, September 4 saw few people trooping in to the vaccinations centers to receive their second jab, compared to the previous exercise. 

According to the Ghana Health Service, about 249,600 doses are expected to be administered in the second phase of the exercise across the country. 

Most of the Centres visited by the Ghanaian Times revealed that health practitioners to administer the jab were sitting idly waiting for people to come and take their shot while others also recorded some technical hitches.

Some of the facilities visited include La Nkwantanang Madina Municipal Health Directorate, Kwame Anum Health Center, Ashaley Botwe Health Center, Korle Bu, Lapaz Community Annex at Christian Village, Achimota New Bus Terminal in the Okaikoi North Municipal Assembly(ONMA) 

At the Korle Bu Police Station, where the exercise started at 8:00am, it was observed that, only few people who had taken the first dose had reported for the second dose. 

The Senior Communication Health Nurse in charge of the exercise at the station, Mrs Sheila Adjei said it also experienced some hitches in the early stages of the exercise which led to a delay in the process. 

Mrs Adjei said about 200 doses were given to her center and as of the time of the visit of the paper only 16 doses had been administered. 

She urged eligible members expected to receive their second jab to come for their vaccine. 

The Senior Technical Officer, Health Promotion at ONMA, Mr Felix Akudugu attributed the use to misinformation being peddled about the vaccine. 

He advised the individuals who had taken the first jab to take the second one to fully protect t em from the disease 

In an interview with Mrs Nancy Frimpong, a nurse at Kwame Anum Health Center said, she was not surprised at the low turnout, adding that the attendance would change in the coming days. 

For her, low turnout was normal with such exercises and expressed optimism that the number would increase in the days ahead. 

She advised the public to bring along a valid national ID card and their COVlD-l9 vaccination card for the exercise. 

“The public is also encouraged to adhere to all the COVlD-19 safety protocols especially the appropriate wearing of face masks and strict social distancing measures while at the vaccination 

centres,” she urged. 

However, in an earlier report, Head of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation, Dr Kwame Amponsah-Achiano said, the exercise will take place across all 16 regions of the country. 

According to him, while eligible members of the public would be catered for, health workers in other regions outside the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions, would be prioritized. 

“We have about 400,000 people awaiting their second dose and because we received 249,000 we are doing equitable distribution across the regions and reserving some specifically for health workers who are atmost risk,” he stated. 

Dr AmponsahAchiano assured that by mid-September other persons due for vaccination would ewe their shots. 

“We have about 350,000 AstraZeneca vaccines in the pipeline and by Mid-September we should be able to administer them because all procurement processes and other arrangements have been completed urging all eligible persons to fully participate in the exercise” he stated. 

BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY AND VIVIAN ARTHUR 

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