Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia and his wife, Samira, on Monday, took shots of the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine at the Police Hospital, in Accra, towards demystifying public apprehension about the Coronavirus vaccine.
The injection was given by Dr Patrina Tekyi, while Dr Adu Adadey registered them into an electronic database system for easy tracking of people who had been vaccinated.
They were issued with vaccination cards as an evidence that they had been vaccinated.
All persons who receive the vaccination are supposed to stay at the health facility for at least 10 minutes for observation.
Vice President Bawumia, in brief remarks, encouraged all Ghanaians to cooperate with the vaccination officials to ensure a smooth process.
He emphasised that the vaccines had been certified by the Food and Drugs Authority and were safe to protect citizens from Coronavirus infection.
“You should not listen to the naysayers who would want to spread conspiracy theories about this vaccine,” he stated to buttress the President’s advice.
” As the President said last night, the vaccine is not going to change your DNA or have any of the negative effects they’re talking about.
“This is to protect the health of our people in Ghana and help our economy and so it’s in our collective interest that we take the vaccine.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Dr Marian Tetteh Krobo, the Medical Superintendent at the Police Hospital, in her welcome remarks, reiterated the need for every Ghanaian to be vaccinated.
She said the vaccines would empower the body and enable it to produce antibodies to fight the disease.
Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister-designate for the Interior, who also took a jab of the vaccine, urged all Ghanaians to get vaccinated when the mass immunization exercise began on Tuesday.
The population has been segmented geographically and that people in COVID-19 hotspots areas, including the Greater Accra Metropolitan area, Awutu Senya East and West, Greater Kumasi Metropolitan area and Obuasi Municipal areas would be the first to be vaccinated.
The targeted populations in 43 metropolitan, municipal and districts – 25 in the Greater Accra Region, 16 in the Ashanti and two in the Central regions regarded as the epicentres, will first be vaccinated against the virus.
People with underlying health conditions, those who are 60 years and above, frontline healthcare workers, frontline security personnel, members of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary would be the first to receive their shots.
The Government on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, received 600,000 Coveshield AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines produced by the Serum Institute of India, under the Global Access Facility (COVAX Facility).
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has, so far, approved the Coveshield AstraZeneca vaccines, and Sputnik-V vaccines from Russia for mass immunization, in Ghana, from March to October, this year.
The vaccines would be administered in three phases, with each person expected to take two doses to help create head immunity for the population.
It is estimated that 20 million Ghanaians would be vaccinated across the country.
The GHS has trained over 12,500 vaccinators, 2,000 supervisors and 37,413 volunteers for the job.
Ghana is expected to receive 12.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines under the COVAX Facility, free of charge.
However, the Government is expected to spend about $38 million to procure vaccines through bilateral and multilateral relations.
The government is making efforts to secure more vaccines to cover the entire population through bilateral and multilateral agencies.
Ghana recorded an outbreak of the novel Coronavirus on March 12, 2020. It now has cumulative confirmed cases of 84,083, with 5,444 active cases. There have, however, been 607 deaths, while recoveries stand at 77,972.
By Godwill Arthur-Mensah