The Deputy Director at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Anthony Adofo Ofosu, has urged the public to disregard myths and fake stories surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine.
He said the vaccine was just as safe as other vaccines that had been in the country since 1972.
He encouraged health workers to help educate the public on why it was important to take the vaccine.
"I will urge you all as health workers having experience and requisite knowledge in vaccination to help educate our communities on the importance and need to take the vaccine," Dr Ofosu said.
He was speaking at the 2020 Bono East Regional Health Directorate Annual Performance Review meeting at Kintampo. The meeting was on the theme "Continuity of quality service delivery in the midst of COVID-19”.
The review meeting was organised to assess the various programmes and interventions undertaken by the regional office of the GHS.
It afforded health managers opportunity to demonstrate their willingness to promote community involvement in health and hold themselves accountable to stakeholders.
Dr Ofosu said vaccination was not new in the country and explained that the COVID-19 vaccine was not different from other vaccines already in existence in the country and was not meant to wipe out Africans.
He said the government and health institutions would not do anything that would threatened the lives of the people and urged the public, therefore, to participate fully in the vaccination exercise.
“Let us remember that this is a great time in our work as health workers and I call upon all of you to accept the herculean task of sustaining the fight against the COVID-19 and supporting the vaccination campaign,” Dr Ofosu said.
According to Dr Ofosu, the World Health Organisation (WHO) stipulates that vaccines saved the lives of up to three million people every year, adding that there were vaccines available to protect against about 20 diseases, including diphtheria, tetanus, influenza and measles, among others.
Dr Ofosu urged health workers to also remember that there was an outbreak of Ebola in Guinea and that there was the need to strengthen laboratory diagnostics and testing, case management and treatment strategies, as well as issues on infection prevention and control, risk communication and sustained funding and logistics for disease outbreaks.
He said there was strong evidence that a research-informed health system with a research-aware workforce ultimately led to better health outcomes for patients.
In a speech read for him, the immediate past Bono East Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Amoakohene, said it was unfortunate that there were various interpretations regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Indeed, there are a lot of inaccuracies and controversial statements out there and we need to disabuse the minds of the people and assure them that the vaccine is a major complementary measure for breaking the COVID-19 transmission,” he stated.
He called for massive and sustained regional education campaigns on the vaccine to provide the right and relevant information to the people.
The Bono East Regional Director of Health, Dr Fred Adomako-Boateng, said as of last Sunday, the region had 1,191 confirmed positive cases of the COVID-19. He said 420 out of that number were health workers.
Meanwhile, he said 1,070 people had recovered from the disease and there were 19 deaths and 103 active cases.