Government has allayed the fears of Ghanaians, especially those whose second Covid-19 jabs are due, that it is working assiduously to procure the next badge of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines to vaccinate them.
This assurance was given yesterday by the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, at a press conference.
He explained that the delay in the procurement of additional Covid-19 vaccines had been occasioned by the global scramble for vaccines and the unavailability of same.
That notwithstanding, he said, government is working with its overseas partners to procure additional vaccines by May this year.
“As a Service, we are more concerned about having more people with the first dose. There are also bilateral arrangements that will bring in other COVAX vaccines including Johnson and Johnson which we are expecting in the third quarter of the year.
“So, we are assuring people that the fact that if you do not get it on the eighth week means there’s something wrong. We still have a four-week window period and beyond to have it,” he added.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye also announced a revision in the GHS’ initial vaccination policy for those who have taken the first dose from eight weeks to 12 weeks period. This, he said, is as a result of the efficacy of the first dose, explaining that the first dose has about 76 per cent protection for about 90 days which coincides with the revised 12 weeks.
Meanwhile, a total of 800,000 have received their first jabs against Covid-19 since the roll out of the mass vaccination exercise across the country on March 2, 2021.
Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye had announced in Kumasi last week that nearly all health workers, both public and private, had been vaccinated.
He made this announcement during the 2021 first senior managers’ meeting of the Service.
Dr Aboagye paid glowing tribute to the thousands of health workers for the relentless efforts and strong support provided over the past year.
“As a service, we have demonstrated our resilience in delivering primary and secondary care services to the entire population of Ghana and this has attracted positive national and global attention,” he said.
He, however, reminded Ghanaians that the country was still in unprecedented times and could not revert to doing things the old way.
He said the meeting offered an opportunity for a situation assessment and determination of priority issues in the health sector to feed into the annual planning and at the same time serve as the basis for choosing focal issues for cooperation and dialogue between the Service and partners.
He charged health workers to redouble their efforts, saying it was the only way to strengthen the foundation for a more resilient, healthier and prosperous society for all.