17th May 2024

Kwaku Agyeman Manu, Minister of Health

The Health Minister-designate, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, says it is too early to make the coronavirus vaccine compulsory for all Ghanaians.

He contends that such discussions are premature.

“If it becomes necessary, that may be a way government will go. But for now, it is a bit premature for us to predict that situation, but we will anticipate that,” Mr Agyeman-Manu said in a media interview.

He urged all Ghanaians to willingly avail themselves for the vaccination rollout which started on March 2.

Former Speaker of Parliament

The former Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, has however shot down the possibility that a law would be enforced to compel Ghanaians to avail themselves for the vaccination.

But he believes through public education and sensitisation many will come on board to take the jabs.

He said this on Tuesday when he got vaccinated at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital.

“It is better to go tactically. When you make the people understand what they are doing, love what they are doing, to do by their own volition, that will be better,” he said.

“There are certain powers which one can describe as reserve powers of the state. They are reserved. You don’t just start applying them,” Prof Oquaye said.

Teacher unions

Meanwhile, some teacher unions in the country are urging their members to be involved in the advocacy to get Ghanaians to accept the administration of the COVID-19 vaccines.

This, they want the members to do by also taking their shots in the ongoing national vaccination exercise.

Leaders of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) say one of the surest ways of ensuring a safe teaching and learning environment, amidst the pandemic, is for teachers who interact mainly with the students to allow themselves to be vaccinated.

The General Secretary of GNAT, Thomas Musah, granted an interview to the media in which he admonished members to go for the jab if the window is opened for persons in the education sector.

“We are frontline workers as teachers. We meet children daily and our condition in the classroom has an effect on them. So if a teacher has it, he or she can infect about 30 to 60 students being taught in the class. So I want to encourage every teacher to go and have the vaccination done, so we can protect ourselves, the children and the future of this country,” he said.

Doubts

Some Ghanaians have expressed misgivings about the safety of the vaccines amid the threat of misinformation and conspiracy theories.

President Akufo-Addo and his wife were vaccinated in a ceremony broadcast live on television to allay the fears of citizens.

The President urged people to get vaccinated and not to believe persons casting doubt on the rollout.

 

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