The Ashanti Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Emmanuel Tenkorang, has urged the media to lead the campaign to get every Ghanaian to take the Covid-19 vaccines.
He said the vaccination exercise, which starts on March 2 this year, is safe and effective in reducing the rate of hospitalization and deaths associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing journalists in Kumasi to get their support for the vaccination exercise, Dr Tenkorang said the media has a critical role to play in encouraging people to participate in the vaccination exercise to help reduce the spread of the virus and its negative impacts on the life of the people.
He said the Ashanti Region is expecting about two million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was manufactured in India, to administer to the people.
Dr Tenkorang stated that the first batch of vaccines would be administered in 14 districts, including the Kumasi metropolis and the municipalities in the Greater Kumasi area.
Frontline health workers, including nurses, doctors and laboratory technicians, as well as people with chronic diseases, officers from the various security agencies, persons above sixty years and others, would be the first to receive the doses.
They would be followed by teachers, students, members of the media and others, according to the plan drawn by the Ghana Health Service.
Dr Tenkorang said the Ashanti Region currently has a total of 14,263 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 192 deaths. Active cases stand at 438, while 13,633 have recovered from the disease.
He said there is a lot of misconception about the Covid-19 vaccine and it is important for the media to let the people understand that this is not the first time the country is undertaking vaccination exercises to prevent the spread of diseases.
Dr Tenkorang added that the same processes used for various vaccination exercises would be deployed for the Covid-19 exercise.
He said the only challenge that could pose danger to the Covid-19 vaccination would be the decision by most Ghanaians not to partake in the exercise.
Dr Tenkorang said national identification cards, including the National Identification Card, passport or voters’ ID cards, would be required during the vaccination exercise to help gather the data of people who would take part in the exercise.
This would help generate certificates of vaccination, which could be a requirement for people who would want to travel to other countries.
Dr Tenkorang stressed that pregnant women, children and lactating mothers would not be part of the vaccination exercise.
He said vaccination centres would be created in communities for people to go there and get vaccinated.
Dr Tenkorang appealed to Ghanaians to discard the negative misconceptions on the vaccine and get immunized to protect themselves and their families.
“Ghana has about 540,000-kilometre coastline, we will not be able to effectively manage our coastlines ourselves. We have to involve the traditional rules to help keep the beaches clean.
“We have to incentivize them to ensure that the beaches are clean. Marketing and private sector involvement and publicity are very important for us. We must engage the Ministry of Sanitation to keep the beaches clean,” he said.