The Volta region has begun administering Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to persons aged 15 and above, following the approval of the vaccine by the Food and Drugs Authority.
The Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Education Service both at the Regional and District level are to work with their respective Assemblies and stakeholders to ensure smooth implementation of the policy.
A statement signed by Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, said the vaccination would protect children, who were 15 years and above in Junior and Senior High Schools.
Dr Letsa said vaccination was the main intervention deployed by the country and the Region to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
He said the vaccination deployment, which has been in phases, began with the frontline health workers, the aged, people with underlying health conditions, the officers and men of the security services, the media and other essential service providers.
The Minister said the vaccination was currently open to the general public in all the 18 administrative districts of the Region and urged all to make themselves available to be vaccinated.
He said the Region has received about 400,000 of the COVID-19 vaccines as part of the interventions to stem the spread of the virus in the Region.
The Minister said to break transmission and make the region relatively free and safe 70 per cent (1,055,990) of the eligible population of the region had to be vaccinated.
Dr Letsa said so far only 119,088 had received the first dose of the vaccine while 19,108 received both the first and the second doses.
He said as the festive season approached, it was expected people would travel in and out of the Region from within Ghana or other countries, hence the need for all to get inoculated.
It is important that mobile populations, who are mostly youthful avail themselves to be vaccinated so that they did not carry the infections to the vulnerable population, he said, adding that previous festivities had left in its wake an increase in the number of cases and deaths.
Dr Senanu Kwesi Djokoto, Deputy Director of Health in charge of Public Health, told the Ghana News Agency that there was the need to step up the campaign to vaccinate those 15 years and above in the region as the Christmas festivities approach.
He said the region was performing poorly, recording only two per cent of vaccination, when the Greater Accra region was doing about 40 per cent.
He indicated the target was to vaccinate some 200,000 people in the region going forward into the yuletide.