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Central Region: Residents unwilling to complete COVID-19 dose

BY: Edith Mensah
 Dr Akosua Agyeiwaa Owusu Sarpong, the Central Regional Director of Health, addressing the media
Dr Akosua Agyeiwaa Owusu Sarpong, the Central Regional Director of Health, addressing the media

The Central Regional Health Directorate has expressed worry about the reluctance of eligible residents in the region to receive or complete doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

This, the directorate indicated, was making the vaccine deployment in the region difficult and hampering the Ghana Health Service's vaccination campaign.

Of the 1.3 million eligible persons in the region who have received the vaccine so far, only 32 per cent have received the complete dose, while four per cent have received the boosters.

About 50 per cent of them have received only the first dose.

Addressing the media on developments on the pandemic and attempts to remedy the situation in the region, the Central Regional Director of Health, Akosua Agyeiwaa Owusu Sarpong, said the skepticism towards receiving the vaccine stemmed from a variety of factors.

This, she said, included the belief that the virus was a hoax, while others believed that the vaccine could cause other illnesses.

She told the press that it was critical for residents to participate in the vaccination exercise so that the region could develop herd immunity and avoid the destruction the COVID-19 virus could wreak.

"Some individuals have developed vaccine resistance, which is not good for the vaccination campaign in general," she stated.

She emphasised that "vaccinations have been around for a long time and our children are still living, and females are reproducing and so the misinformation going round is really disturbing the campaign and we are doing our best to mitigate these impacts by continuing to educate the public."

Situation

Mrs Sarpong further reported that individuals had been less concerned about COVID-19 preventive measures such as handwashing and the use of face masks.

"Before, when you went to any public place, you would see people mounting the Veronica buckets and strictly enforcing the handwashing measure but that and other restrictions have been eased", she said, emphasising that it was unsettling.

Mrs Sarpong added that the region's status as having no COVID-19 cases currently could only be maintained if residents continued to follow the instructions.

"Thankfully, there are no active COVID-19 cases in our region but we can only keep this status if we all follow the guidelines and get the vaccines," she said.

She emphasised that the Regional Health Directorate had subsequently taken steps to guarantee that all eligible persons in the region were properly vaccinated, particularly the half of the eligible population who had only gotten the first dosage and had not attempted to receive the second dose.

She urged key stakeholders in the region to join the campaign aimed at assuaging public worries and educating them on the necessity of the vaccines.