The Tema West Municipality has commenced vaccination of qualified persons in the first phase of the COVID-19 Vaccination Exercise currently underway across the country.
The vaccination exercise, which began after 0900 hours Tuesday in the Municipality, is expected to take care of health workers, frontline security personnel, persons with underlying conditions, persons 60 years and above, and frontline members of the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary, taking turns to be vaccinated.
Out of the 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines deployed in 43 districts identified as epicentres of the pandemic in the country, some 7,500 doses (750 vials) of the vaccines have been delivered to the Tema West Municipality for the first phase of the exercise.
Mr Isaac Abrefa Busia, Tema West Municipal Public Health Officer told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the vaccines would be administered to eligible persons the category of persons identified by the National Vaccine Deployment Plan including frontline state officials, members of state security, persons with underlying conditions amongst others.
He said the directorate prior to the vaccination had undertaken series of trainings for vaccinators, volunteers, and educators who have been deployed to all designated centres across the municipality, adding that a team of 217 persons – many of whom have undertaken similar national immunization exercises in the past – underwent such training before the exercise.
He said some minor side-effects, including slight headache, body pains, sometimes fever, were usually anticipated which could be a cause of public concern, emphasizing the vaccines were safe and efficacious and that vaccinators, had been trained on the Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) to ensure that vaccines were administered correctly.
Mr Abrefa Busia, who is also the Head of Disease Control and Surveillance in Tema West, assured the general public of the safety and efficiency of the vaccines, adding that his outfit would continue with public education to deal with the hesitancy that have occasioned the exercise.
At the Corpus Christi School and the C&J Diagnostic and Medical Centre, part of the 23 vaccination centres of the four clusters in the Tema West Municipality, vaccination was ongoing, albeit with a low turnout when the Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited the centres.
A 74-year-old retired public servant, who took the first vaccine at the Klagon CHPS facility, remarked that, with the number of deaths recorded from the outbreak of COVID-19, she was utterly surprised that some persons, despite the education on the vaccines, would still be skeptical about its safety.
“The vaccines have been manufactured after rigorous scientific research over the last year, and the regulatory authorities in Ghana have assured us of the standards, safety, and effectiveness so we’re better off taking it to keep safe because prevention is better than the temporal curative measures we have used over the period” she advised.
She admitted that education on the safety of the vaccines had been rather low, thus contributing to the wrong perceptions and anxieties that have characterized the exercise generally, and said “the President has shown exemplary leadership by taking the first jab so let’s do likewise.”
Mr Carlos Kingsley Ahenkora, Member of Parliament for Tema West, and Mrs Adwoa Amoako, Municipal Chief Executive, Tema West Municipal Assembly, after taking their first jabs with their spouses at separate locations, called on the residents who are qualified, to be vaccinated as it was safe and the surest way of getting immunity to the virus.