19 Million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered
A total of 19,055,059 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered in the country as of August 30, 2022.
So far, 8.3 million people have been fully vaccinated against the disease with 11,371,567 having received at least one dose of the vaccines and 1,750,905 receiving one booster dose.
The Programme Manager of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), Dr Kwame Amponsa-Achiano, disclosed this at a round-table discussion on COVID-19 in Accra yesterday for media personnel and civil society organisations (CSOs).
The event was organised by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), in partnership with the Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), Canada’s leading media development organisation, with financial support from the Global Affairs of Canada, which is implementing the “Mobilising media to fight COVID-19” project.
Dr Amponsa-Achiano said the number of doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered was an indication that people were taking the COVID-19 vaccination seriously.
“If you have administered 19 million doses, that is quite a lot. We still have some room for improvement but I tell you, we have done a lot as a nation in terms of people coming for vaccination. People are taking the vaccines, so we should probably be more positive,” he said.
Dr Amponsa-Achaino said in August, 2022 alone, about 500,000 people were vaccinated against the disease in the country.
He said some of the regions that hitherto were not doing well with the vaccination figures were now improving with the exception of the Volta Region.
He said data showed that the various strategies, including the national vaccination month and national vaccination days against COVID-19, were working.
“We have also realised that whenever we make a lot of noise about vaccination and send the vaccines out, there is a spike in vaccination. But we cannot do this perpetually because COVID-19 is not the only disease we are tackling,” he said.
He advised the public to learn to live with COVID-19, adding that there was no certainty about what would happen next with regard to COVID-19.
“So long as we interact with animals, we will surely get some diseases. We have to gird our loins,” he said.
Dr Amponsa-Achiano mentioned some of the challenges confronting the fight against the pandemic as misinformation and disinformation, pockets of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, burdened health system, inadequate transport for service delivery and supervision.
The President of the GJA, Albert Dwumfour, said journalists played a key role in debunking misinformation, myths and rumours surrounding COVID-19.
He gave the assurance that journalists would continue to play that role in communicating accurate public health measures to combat the “infodemic of misinformation”.
The President of the National Network of Persons Living with HIV, Elsie Ayeh, said the lockdown that came with the pandemic initially made it difficult for people living with HIV to attend hospitals and access their medication but interventions came quickly.
She mentioned the challenges those living with HIV faced with regard to COVID-19 to be lack of awareness about vaccination and the fact that some took varieties of vaccines.
The Project Coordinator of Hope for Future Generations, a non-profit body for vulnerable members of the public, Catherine Bentum-Williams, mentioned some of the challenges they faced as hesitancy on the part of health workers to administer vaccines when people presented themselves for vaccination.
In the case of the Founder and President of Savannah Women Integrated Development Agency, Alima Sagito, the lockdown that accompanied the pandemic increased the workload of women in agriculture and girls.
She said it also increased sexual and gender-based violence, as well as child marriages.