COVID-19 vaccination phase two: 360,000 persons qualify for second dose

The Covid-19 vaccine from AstrZzeneca pictured here on April 10, 2021, at the vaccination centre in the German city of Greifswald. Photo: Stefan Sauer/dpa
The Covid-19 vaccine from AstrZzeneca pictured here on April 10, 2021, at the vaccination centre in the German city of Greifswald. Photo: Stefan Sauer/dpa

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says those who took the first jab of the AstraZenecca vaccines between March 1 and 9,2021 will have to go for the second jab from Wednesday, May 19, at the designated centres in 43 districts.

Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the GHS, announced this at a media briefing in Accra on Tuesday, to update the public on the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

He said although 852,047 people were vaccinated and captured into the GHS database during the first phase, only 360,000 qualified for the second dose.

The second phase of the vaccination exercise is expected to take place from Wednesday, May 19 to May 26, 2021.

They included frontline health workers, persons with underlying health conditions, frontline security personnel, media practitioners and those who are 60 years and above, as well as members of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye explained that those who took the first dose should go to the vaccination centres with their unique COVID-19 Vaccination Card, but those whose cards are missing could still go there with any of the national ID cards, to facilitate easy searching of their names on the database.

He said the GHS had already sent text messages to those who were due for the second dose, and had specified the vaccination centre and the date one could visit the centre.

He said after taking the second dose, one’s COVID-19 Card would be replaced with a new one, which has enhanced features such as a hologram and QR Code on it to aid validation.

So far, he said, the GHS had dispatched all the logistics to the designated centres while vaccinators and field officers had undergone refresher training to improve service delivery.

The GHS, he said, had also prepared infographic data of the vaccination centres of the 26 districts in the Greater Accra Region,19 districts in the Ashanti Region and two districts in the Central Region to enhance tracing of the vaccination centres.

The GHS Boss said the AstraZeneca vaccines could provide 76 per cent protection, therefore, it was important to continue wearing nose masks and observing the COVID-19 safety protocols even after the second dose.

He noted that the side effects experienced upon taken the first jab would still be felt, adding that it takes three weeks for the full immunity of the vaccine to take effect in the body.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye announced that government was still engaging in bilateral discussions to secure more vaccines even though Ghana would get more vaccines under the African Union COVAX Facility, which is free.

He said at the moment the country had 16,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccines and expecting 300,000 more soon.

The GHS Boss said all the necessary measures had been put in place to prevent the vaccines from going waste as 580 doses went waste during the first phase.

Ghana took delivery of 350,000 AstraZeneca vaccines on Friday, May 7 from DR Congo’s 1.7 million leftovers and expected to expire on June 24.

As at May 15, 2021, Ghana’s COVID-19 active cases stood at 1,325 declining from 8,000 cases witnessed during the peak period of the second wave of infections in February, this year.

So far, 93,456 cumulative cases had been recorded, with 91,384 recoveries/discharges, representing 97.4 per cent recovery and 771 deaths.

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