Childhood vaccine shortage: Some will be available in two weeks - GHS assures
The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye says efforts are underway to replenish vaccines used for routine immunization of babies from birth to at least 18 months, which are currently in short supply.
Reacting to a Daily Graphic publication on the shortage, he gave the assurance that Ghana will receive new stocks of the childhood vaccines in the next two weeks.
"We have acknowledged that there has been a shortage, we were anticipating we will get it much earlier [but] it was delayed ...we are working with UNICEF and their other partners to ensure that within the next two weeks, we are able to bring you the vaccines", he said.
He was reacting to the publication in a radio interview with Accra-based Citi FM,.
It followed a Daily Graphic report about the nationwide shortage of childhood vaccines on Thursday, February 23, 2023.
Under the routine vaccination programme, Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) disease; oral polio vaccine 0 (OPV); Measles-Rubella; Meningitis and Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) are administered.
Vaccines against polio, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B (DPT/Hep B/ Hib 1) and six infectious diseases that are particularly dangerous to babies are also among those administered.
Mr Aboagye who said it was only three of the vaccines that have shortage attributed it to the depreciation of the cedis, "Its three key traditional vaccines that we have run out towards the end of the year. Polio vaccine 0 (OPV), Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG0 and then the Measles-Rubella vaccines were supposed to be procured in the first quarter of the year but due to the currency depreciation the amount that was available could not pay".
According to Mr. Aboagye, once the vaccine comes in those who need the vaccination will be vaccinated.
He added that there will be community announcements to ensure the information on the availability of the vaccines is known.