President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the objective of the government is to ensure that everyone is vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Its important that I set the example that this vaccine is safe by being the first to have it, so that everybody in Ghana can feel comfortable about taking this vaccine. It is important that everybody at the end of the day is vaccinated. And that’s our objective,” he said yesterday.
The President made these remarks after publicly taking the vaccine together with his wife, Rebecca Akufo-Addo. Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia and his wife, Samira Bawumia, also took their jabs yesterday.
The vaccination process was televised on various media outlets as well as social media platforms to boost the confidence of the citizens to take the vaccine.
This follows weeks of debate about the safety of the vaccine, anticipated side-effects and the country’s vaccination roll-out plan.
The President commended health officials in the country for ensuring that the vaccines arrived on time.
“We have all had a very difficult time this last year. Fortunately, scientists in the world have now found what could be a permanent antidote to this. I can only call it a pestilence that has affected all of our lives these last years,” the President said.
President Akufo-Addo, during his last address to the nation, explained that the population had been segmented into four groups for the purpose of the vaccination.
Group one, he indicated, comprises persons most at risk and frontline State officials, including healthcare workers, frontline security personnel, persons with underlying medical conditions, persons sixty years and above, and frontline members of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.
Group two is made up of other essential service providers and the rest of the security agencies. “It includes water and electricity supply services, teachers and students, supply and distribution of fuels, farmers and food value chain, telecommunications services, air traffic and civil aviation control services, meteorological services, air transport services, waste management services, media, public and private commercial transport services, the Police Service, Armed Forces, Prisons Service, Immigration Service, National Fire Service, CEPS Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, and other members of the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislature,” President Akufo-Addo said.
Group three will be made up of the rest of the general public except for pregnant women.
The final group, Group four, the President said, would include pregnant mothers and persons under the age of eighteen and they will be vaccinated when an appropriate vaccine, hopefully, is found, or when enough safety data on the present vaccines is available.
President Akufo-Addo said special arrangements would be made for persons with disabilities who fall within these groups.
Meanwhile, the Director of Communications for the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Joyce Effutu, has said the Commission has been resourced enough to begin educating the public on the vaccine.
She underscored the need to educate the public in order to clear doubts, misconceptions, conspiracy theories, and the fear people have about taking the vaccine.
Speaking in a media interview yesterday, Mrs Effutu said the NCCE is using its mobile vans and the media to educate people on the vaccine.
“We are collaborating with the media to do the education. We will go to all the districts, regions, churches, mosques, artisans, groups, and everywhere people are to educate the people. We will also do street announcements,” she said.
Mrs Effutu said although the NCCE does not have a new jingle on the vaccine, it will use the old jingle it has on Covid-19 to educate the people more when they approach the vans.
She said they do the education early dawn and evenings, adding that the NCCE has identified places that have community centres, community radio that will also be used in the education so that all will understand the need to take the vaccine.