The Covid-19 vaccination for the first target group is progressing smoothly at Oblogo, an Accra suburb, as multitudes of people swarm health facilities in the community for their first jab.
For the past three days, people, adults from 50 years and above formed meandering queues as early as 0900 hours to be vaccinated.
A Health Assistant, at one of the facilities said, “a host of people walk in to take their first jab each day, between 0800 and 1800 hours.’’
She said the routine was to educate the people on COVID-19, preventive measures, and the efficacy of the vaccine before administering it.
The Health Assistant, who sought anonymity, said the targets were front line health workers, adults aged 60 years and above, people with underlining health conditions such as diabetes, kidney diseases, hypertension, cancer, front line security personnel, frontline government officials, the media and all frontline workers in the formal sector.
The Health Assistant said some lactating mothers who visited the centre said they wanted to take the vaccine and stop breastfeeding but they were told they could take the jab and continue breastfeeding.
The Ghana News Agency gathered that a total of 69,820 persons had been vaccinated against the virus from March 02 to 04 in the 43 selected districts in Accra, Kumasi, and the Central region.
In all, a total of 20 million Ghanaians are expected to be vaccinated against the virus.
Dr Kwame Amponsah-Achiano, Programme Manager of the Extended Programme on Immunization (EPI), told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra on Friday that since the beginning of the vaccination exercise last Wednesday, 16,563 adults above 60 years and 8,313 persons with underlining health conditions had been vaccinated against COVID-19.
He said data recorded by the EPI as at 7 pm on Thursday, indicated that 22,673 health workers, 4, 889 essential service providers, 4, 477 security service providers, and 3,541 front line members of the executive, legislature, and persons working in the Ministries had been vaccinated.
Similarly, 891, frontline media persons, 963 special groups on national assignments, 2,535 teachers about 50 years and above, and 14,560 of the general population had also been vaccinated.
Dr Achino said the vaccination exercise for the first target groups had been smooth without any major challenges.
“We expect that within the next few days, we would have been able to complete the 570,000 doses that we have dished out for the first group,” he said and projected that vaccine wastage would be very minimal although five per cent of the 600,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine available had been earmarked as potential waste.
Dr Achino announced that the country had received additional 50,000 doses of COVISHIELD, the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute of India from the Government of India, for free.
He advised the public to actively get involved in the COVID-19 vaccination exercise saying, “The opportunity has come for us to go back to our normal lives and we need to take this advantage to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. When we have a critical mass of people vaccinated, we break the transmission. COVID-19 will be a thing of the past and life will be normal again. ”
Dr Achino encouraged the public to keep adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols, by wearing a nose mask, observing social distancing, washing hands with soap under running water, or sanitizing hands frequently.
Ghana has since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, recorded about 83,239 cases, 79, 465 recoveries, and 629 deaths.
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals.
In rare cases, they are what scientists call zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It has an incubation period between 4-6 days and fatal, especially for those with a weakened immune system – the elderly and the very young. It could also result in pneumonia and bronchitis.