The government has denied reports that it intends to sanction persons who fail to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
It says publications to that effect are fake and must be disregarded by the public.
In a statement reacting to the reports, the Ministry of Information said no such decision has been taken by the government.
The media reports that made the claims cited Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah’s recent press interaction at Peduase Lodge on March 8, 2021.
During that event, the Minister indicated that Ghana currently does not need to introduce sanctions but should it become necessary, some actions will be taken.
However, some media reports claimed, definitely, that the government had taken a decision to sanction people who do not take the vaccine.
Read the government’s full statement below:
Here is the full statement
RE: GOVERNMENT TO SANCTION PERSONS WHO REFUSE COVID-19 VACCINE
The attention of the Ministry of Information has been drawn to a false publication by a number of reputable online portals and newspapers to the effect that Government will sanction persons who refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine
The said reportage is false. Government has neither taken nor announced any such decision. For the avoidance of doubt, below is the quotation of the remarks by the Minister for Information at a press briefing in Peduase on Monday March 8, 2021 when asked about whether or not sanctions will be imposed on persons who refused the COVID-19 vaccines
“As at now, there are no sanctions that have been rolled out. We are encouraging strongly that people should take the vaccine and we are pleased that we are observing that the initial vaccine hesitancy appears to be toning down a bit and we congratulate you our colleagues in the media as you are helping us. We congratulate our colleagues in NCCE, ISD. As we are getting the message out, we are noticing that hesitancy is gradually coming down and a lot more people are volunteering to take the vaccine. So we have had no need as at now to introduce any sanctions. Should it become necessary at some point, that we consider either what has been done I think in places like Israel or other places, where they will say if you haven’t taken the vaccine you can’t attend a public programme. If you haven’t taken the vaccine I think in Dubai, you have to do a PCR test at your own cost every week or something, Should it become necessary that we get there, we would advise accordingly but for now, we are happy at the level of encouragement and volunteering with which people are stepping up and taking it”.
The general public is advised to ignore such false publications. Ghanaians are, however, encouraged to take the vaccine to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 illness.