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Prisons officers, VRA staff vaccinate against COVID-19

BY: Juliet Akyaa Safo & Joshua Bediako Koomson

The Ghana Prisons Service (GPS) and the Volta River Authority (VRA) have taken their turns to immunise against the contagious and deadly COVID-19.

The exercise to vaccinate personnel of the GPS was held at the Prisons Headquarters in Accra yesterday with about 8,000 prison officers across the country expected to take part.

For the VRA, the exercise is targeted at its staff in the Accra and Tema offices, with about 900 workers expected to be vaccinated.

Advice

The Director-General of the GPS, Mr Patrick Darko Missah, took the first jab to signify the vaccine’s safety and to also raise the morale of the personnel.

Other prison directors and senior officers of the service followed subsequently.

Mr Missah told journalists after receiving his shot that the vaccine was safe.

Impact of the pandemic

He said last year the service was hit hard by the pandemic which affected 45 officers and 54 inmates.

As a result, he said strict measures had to be put in place to prevent any spread, adding that the vaccination exercise would help to relieve the service of such a burden.

He said despite being vaccinated, the service was not going to take any chances and would continue to ensure that all the safety protocols were adhered to in all prison yards across the country.

He said it was good to have prison officers as first recipients in the exercise as it would ensure that the inmates were kept safe from the disease.

“The inmates are already quarantined so there is no way they can be infected. It is the officers rather who may contract the virus and spread it among them and that is why I think the vaccination is good for both, officers and inmates,” Mr Missah said.

VRA

The staff turned up in their numbers at the VRA Head Office to get vaccinated.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the authority, Mr Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, who was present, explained that the exercise was important and as such all staff must consider their unique role as electricity providers.

“We are giving our workers opportunity to get vaccinated with the view of ensuring business continuity in the face of the pandemic,” he said.

Mr Antwi-Darkwa, who has taken his jab, said per the government’s directive, the exercise was beginning in the Accra, Tema, Kumasi areas and some hotspots around the country after which all other VRA staff would be vaccinated to ensure there was no disruption to electricity supply.

“Today is the first day of the exercise in Accra and information reaching me from Tema indicate that people are enthusiastic. Most of the workers say it is the right way to fight the disease,” he said.