The government is expecting more than 18 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the coming days to augment the national fight against the virus.
The expected consignment will comprise 1,330,270 doses of Pfizer from the US government through COVAX; 834,729 doses of AstraZeneca from the governments of UK, Denmark, Norway and the European Union also through COVAX, and a bilateral engagement with Germany for the delivery of over 16 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
The Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, who disclosed this in Kumasi this week, has charged health workers and the science community in the country to improve the public education campaign to sustain the fight against COVID-19.
He said there was too much misinformation in the system, particularly on social media, that sought to impede the government’s response to the pandemic, and urged health workers to get involved to correct such misinformation and disinformation.
He said some people who still believed that the virus was not real were instigating people against taking the jabs.
Delivering the keynote address at the opening of the Ninth Biennial Science conference of the College of Health Sciences of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) last Wednesday, Dr. Nsiah-Asare explained that “vaccines are what we need.
Once you take the vaccine, you don’t get very sick, and if you even get the virus you don’t die and you don’t easily infect people.
“Once we have a lot of people vaccinated, then we cut down on the number of the vulnerable people in society and then we are winning the fight,” he said.
He said even though the country had made progress in the fight against the disease, “I must admit and emphasise that the battle is still far from over”.
He said the recent resurgence of local COVID-19 cases “serves a reminder to us that we must not relent in our effort in the fight against the pandemic”.
Dr. Nsiah-Asare explained that with the emergence of new and more contagious strains of the virus, the government’s immediate and overarching plan was to accelerate vaccination in order to achieve herd immunity and minimise transmission.
“The government is committed to obtaining sufficient vaccines in order to make vaccines a national public good that is available to all citizens,” he said.
Even though the ultimate goal is to vaccinate the entire nation, he said the initial target was to vaccinate 20 million persons segmented by population groups and geography, excluding children below 18 years and pregnant women.
“As additional data safety becomes available, the vaccination will be expanded to cover children and pregnant women,” he assured.