The Upper East Regional Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in the Upper East Region says it will conduct school vaccination exercise against COVID-19 before the Christmas break.
It says it has taken delivery of 39,300 Pfizer vaccines and is all set to carry out the vaccination.
It has therefore called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to mobilise pupils who are above 15years across all schools for the exercise.
Dr Emmanuel Kofi Dzotsi, the Regional Director, GHS made the call at an orientation programme for selected journalists across the region, aimed at soliciting support for the exercise and improving the COVID- 19 vaccine uptake.
We urge GES to mobilise children above 15years in their schools to be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccines before the schools vacate in December 2021“.
He explained that all types of COVID-19 vaccines would be given to persons aged 18years and above, except for the Pfizer vaccines which would be given to persons aged 15years and above.
Dr Dzotsi said between March and November 2021, the Region received over 203,100 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, mainly AstraZenaca, Johnson and Johnson, and Moderna, and vaccination exercises were on-going in all 15 Municipalities and Districts.
The regional target according to him is to vaccinate 830,693 persons representing 4.2 per cent of the national target of 20 million people with the COVID-19 vaccines.
“As of 29th November, 2021, a total of 206,100 persons representing 18.9 per cent of the Regional target received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, whilst 157,308 representing 4.4 per cent have been fully vaccinated,” he said.
The Regional Health Director said the GHS had expanded the vaccination exercise to cover the general population to help achieve herd immunity and subsequently reduce the burden of the disease and noted that “Our efforts at reducing the spread of COVID-19 is yielding the desired results.”
The Health Director said the fight against new infections and the pandemic in the region had progressed with a consistent decline in the number of active cases over the past three months.
He disclosed that the Region as of November 29, 2021, recorded a total of 1,492 COVID-19 cases with three current active cases in the Bolgatanga Municipality, “Unfortunately, the Region lost 54 patients due to COVID-19 since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the Region in April 2020,” he added.
In spite of the progress made at containing the spread of the virus, the Director said a high vaccination coverage would help the region sustain the gains already made in the fight against it and reiterated that COVID-19 vaccines were safe, effective, and free of charge.
Dr Josephat Nyuzaghl, the Deputy Regional Director of the GHS in charge of Public Health, said the Region had taken delivery of 39,300 Pfizer vaccines, to be deployed to schools for the vaccination exercise. “We want to vaccinate the children before they go home”, he added.
He reminded the public that the GHS and the Ministry of Health (MoH) had declared December as a month of COVID-19 vaccination. “So, we expect that the general public will avail themselves to be vaccinated.”