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2nd National COVID-19 vaccination campaign launched

BY: Ezekiel E. Sottie
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has launched the second National COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign with a caution that the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over.

It said the efforts is to help boost the national vaccination drive.

Launching the campaign in Somanya in the Yilo Krobo Municipality in the Eastern Region last Thursday, the Director-General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, asked the people not to shirk the safety measures in the face of eased restrictions until the battle was completely won.

“We need to completely win this fight and it is in view of this that we have gathered here to roll out series of vaccinations against COVID-19,” Dr Aboagye stressed.

The exercise is on the theme, “Protect yourself, protect your family, get vaccinated against COVID-19.”
Vaccine types

He said currently five COVID-19 vaccine types had been authorised for use by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) namely: AstraZeneca, Sputnik-V, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye noted that as of last Monday, the country had received over 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and distributed most of them to all regions and districts.

He said to ensure that the vaccines remained safe as they were being deployed the country had strengthened its robust vaccine safety monitoring system that was being managed by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) with the support of the GHS’ Expanded Programme on Immunisation.

To ensure real-time management, Dr Kuma-Aboagye said the GHS had deployed a well-integrated information technology and data management system that ensured successful vaccine distribution, tracking, monitoring, and reporting in near-real time.

He said with the support from partners, the service was ardently working to ensure all paper-based data were uploaded electronically for easy retrieval and use for decision making.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said vaccine and cold chain management were critical for a successful immunisation activity and in view of that, the government, with support from the World Bank, the Government of Japan and other partners, had supported the GHS with ultra-low freezers to store Pfizer vaccines to enhance the COVID-19 vaccine deployment.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Kwame Acheampong, commended the Ministry of Health, GHS and all other stakeholders for their dedicated service to the nation to ensure that we all survived the pandemic since it struck.

“We still have the pandemic with us as a country and therefore I plead with municipal and district chief executives, religious and opinion leaders not forgetting the media to support all the efforts by the health workers to ensure that we are safe through vaccination,’’ the regional minister added.

The Yilo Krobo Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Eric Tetteh, said the municipality recorded 135 confirmed cases in June 2020 with no death.

He, however, said with a population of 71,215 of the municipality, only 24,095 representing 34 per cent, had taken their first dose, while 13,708 representing 19.2 per cent had received the second dose with 0.49 per cent having the booster doses.

Mr Tetteh appealed residents in the municipality to come on board for the second vaccination in their own interest.