Public interest in the COVID-19 vaccination exercise has increased in spite of the earlier negative rumours and hesitations for the vaccine, the Manager of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation, Dr Kwame Amponsa-Achiano, has said.
He said as of last Wednesday, the second day of the exercise, more than 30,500 people had been vaccinated out of which over 16,000 were males.
The manager said this at the 2021 national delegates congress of the Community Health Nursing Group Ghana (CHNG) in Accra yesterday on the theme: “Harnessing community health nurses’ prospect: Fulcrum to attain preventive health as a nation.”
The CHNG will also use the occasion to elect its national executive today.
According to Dr Amponsa-Achiano, the vaccines would have long run out if the vaccinators were not tactical in the deployment process.
“Interestingly, the people who are not within those groups that are supposed to be vaccinated in the first segmentation are the ones who are sneaking in and putting pressure on the vaccinators to take the vaccine.
“So, it is not as if people are not demanding; they are demanding the vaccine and we are happy about it except that we think the first category of beneficiaries must go for it,” he said.
Dr Amponsa-Achiano also explained that people taking the jabs would not receive different vaccines, “so if you take AstraZeneca first dose, we will give you AstraZeneca second dose”.
For those who experience some adverse effects after taking the jab, he assured that there was no cause for alarm because the symptoms were part of the immune generation system.
Dr Amponsa-Achiano said the exercise was dragging due to some technological challenges, adding “we have had slow data entry due to old tablets which processing units are very slow leading to crowding at some selected vaccination sites".
He, however, said “we have procured 300 additional tablets to support the smooth running of the exercise to ease the pressure”.
The President of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA), Mrs Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo, also dismissed conspiracy theories about the vaccine and encouraged nurses to take the jab, saying “it is important that you receive your jab or vaccination, given the role that you play”.
Condition of service
On conditions of service, the president urged them to build a unified force to fight for improved conditions of service and their general welfare.
“At every point in time we must sing the same song so that our stakeholders will appreciate and respect us when we are talking about certain issues,” Mrs Ofori-Ampofo added.
For his part, the interim Chairman of CHNG, Mr Felix Hagan, said the role of community health nurses was significant as they contributed to the health care of the people.
“This, therefore, calls for improvement in the welfare of community health nurses. We call on the Ministry of Health and its agencies to ensure the implementation of the condition of service agreed upon with the government and the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association,” he said.