COVID-19 Vaccination

Some 9,890 persons were vaccinated in the first phase of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination exercise in Tema West, a review report by the Tema West Municipal Health Directorate has revealed.

The vaccination exercise, segmented in phases, was conducted from March 2 to 8th, 2021; and targeted health workers, frontline security personnel, aged 60 years and above, teachers above 50 years, chronically ill persons and essential service providers.

The report made available to the Ghana News Agency at Tema indicated that in Tema West, the exercise initially targeted a sample size of 6,952, with 26 institutions marked for the vaccination campaign using an electronic appointment schedule for booking.

Out of the 9,890 persons vaccinated with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, 4,784 of them were females representing 48 per cent and 5,105 males representing 52 per cent.

In all, 4,198 of the number came from Halcrow, Lashibi 2,641; Baatsona 1,386; Sakumono 1,015; and 650 from Adjei Kojo; all in the Tema West Municipality.

Also, some 3,995 persons representing 40 per cent of the total vaccinated population were persons who were initially not targeted, while 3,172 persons above 60 years representing 32 per cent were vaccinated; with some 992 Health Workers representing 10 per cent taking their first jabs.

Some 781 persons representing eight per cent with underlying medical conditions were vaccinated, while 407 teachers above 50 years representing four per cent, and 349 frontline security personnel also representing four per cent were inoculated.

Only 194 personnel, representing two per cent of the total vaccinated population; from the Judiciary, Executive and Legislature, were immunized.

The report said “issues with their electronic application, inadequate number of vaccination teams, insistence of the general population to be vaccinated though they were not part of the first phase, late receipt and shortage of vaccination cards” amongst others, were some challenges encountered in the first phase of the exercise.

The report identified “some Private Health Facilities arranging people to be vaccinated on their own terms and pressuring the Municipal Focal Person and the non-reporting of AEFI (Adverse Event Following Immunization) by staff due to fear,” as some challenges the municipality encountered.

Mr Isaac Abrefa Busia, Tema West Municipal Public Health Officer, told the Ghana News Agency in Tema that the municipality conducted training for vaccinators and volunteers and as part of their social mobilization efforts, radio discussions, market announcements, church sensitization were undertaken prior to the exercise.

He said some public and private health facilities, the Tema West Municipal Assembly, opinion leaders and security agencies partnered with the health directorate during the first face of the exercise.

Mr Abrefa Busia, who is also the Head of Disease Control and Surveillance in Tema West, however expressed optimism that the challenges encountered during the first phase would be surmounted with improved collaboration at all levels as the health directorate would ensure that facilities booked appointments for subsequent vaccination.

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