The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says the country will take delivery of 350,000 more doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine this week.
The government has faced challenges in procuring additional vaccines to meet the initial eight-week window given to persons who received the first jab, to get their second dose.
The Ghana Health Service recently issued a communiqué postponing the second phase of vaccination exercise for persons who have taken the first jab.
In an interview with Citi News, the Programme Manager for the Expanded Programme on Immunization at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Kwame Amponsa-Achiano urged Ghanaians to remain calm.
“We are getting some vaccines this week and we will definitely start with those who started first. For the DRC one, it is 350,000 doses. We may have additional ones,” he added.
The Director-General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, had earlier announced a revision in the Ghana Health Service’s initial vaccination policy for those who have taken the first dose to receive their second jabs in 12 weeks, instead of eight weeks.
This, he said, is a result of the efficacy of the first dose, explaining that the first jab has about 76% protection for about 90 days, which coincides with the revised 12 weeks.
“WHO has done a lot of studies and it shows that if you do it before the four weeks or before two weeks, there is no benefit; but between two, four, eight and twelve weeks is the best time to do it and even though you would have lost some percentage of the antibodies, it’s still enough to protect you.”
“The efficacy of one dose is about 76 percent protection for just about 90 days which coincides with the 12 weeks. Subsequently, they have not done the next stage. A lot of work is being done now, and I’m sure when it’s concluded we’ll see how long the first dose really protects you before you become vulnerable,” he explained.
Meanwhile, a total of 755,686 people have received their first jabs of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, with the Greater Accra Region having the highest number of inoculated persons.