President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says whilst the government is making the effort to secure the necessary numbers of vaccines to help vaccinate all Ghanaians against Covid-19, “we cannot afford to disregard the social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing and enhanced hygiene protocols that have brought us this far.”
He said getting the jab is the best route out of the pandemic, explaining that, according to the World Health Organisation, vaccination reduces the risk of death, hospitalisation and the spread of the virus.
“It is for this reason that we have committed ourselves to vaccinating some twenty million Ghanaians, that is the entire adult population, by the end of the year.
“After the start of an impressive vaccination drive in March this year, we were confronted with vaccine supply constraints and disruptions at the global level. Fortunately, in recent months, the supply situation has improved considerably, and we estimate that, by the end of December, we would have secured a total of some 26 million doses,” he said yesterday when addressed the nation on the pandemic.
“Let me state, as clearly as I can. The vaccines are safe. They will not harm you. They will protect you and your family. Contrary to the mischief being peddled by some, getting vaccinated will not cause you to vote for the NPP in the 2024 elections, if you do not want to. This is an outrageous claim. Vaccination cannot change your political preferences. That is not its purpose,” the President stated.
He announced that as at Tuesday, December 14, the Ghana Health Service had taken delivery of 17,736,710 vaccine doses, adding that the country was expecting an additional 8,529,090 doses by the end of the year.
“We have enough vaccines in the system. So, my fellow Ghanaians, I encourage each and every one of you to take advantage of this, and get vaccinated.
So far, we have been able to administer only 6,420,973 doses out of the 17.7 million we have at our disposal.
“There are significant quantities of vaccines deployed to every corner of the country. We have, thus, declared the month of December as vaccination month, and we are rolling out an aggressive campaign of vaccination, so that as many Ghanaians as possible have the opportunity to be vaccinated. It is a race against time, but we are determined to accomplish it,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said, as Ghana expects a large number of people into the country in this month of Christmas, the concern had been to limit the importation of the virus through the Kotoka International Airport.
“As things stand, international passengers arriving at Kotoka constitute the highest source of infections in the country, leading us to take drastic measures recently to prevent the importation of the virus from increasing the numbers of infections in the country.
“The Ghana Health Service tells us that an overwhelming majority, that is 75%, of the positive cases recorded at Kotoka have come from passengers who are not vaccinated,” he stated, adding that it for this reason “Government has decided that all visitors coming to Ghana have to be fully vaccinated.
“Furthermore, all persons seeking to travel outside the country must also be fully vaccinated,” he added.
He noted that even though these are stringent measures, the benefits far outweigh the negatives, saying, “As your President, it is my duty to protect lives and livelihoods.”
The President said the ravages of COVID-19 had been devastating on the economy, assuring that he is “determined to return us to our normal way of life as quickly as possible, by helping to defeat the pandemic.”
He urged everybody to act in a responsible manner during the Christmas festivities in order to avoid the spread of the virus.
“Let us choose to live and act responsibly throughout the Christmas festivities, and remember that our actions or inactions will either help to end the pandemic at a much faster rate, or continue to spread the virus in the country.
“I, on my part, will do everything possible to protect lives and livelihoods, and help return our nation to normalcy. It is possible, and the Government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is determined to realise this goal as quickly as possible,” he stated.