Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare says authorities will focus Ghana’s vaccination drive on having as many Ghanaians as possible receiving the first jab despite concerns with the inadequate supply of doses.
In the light of challenges with the global supply chain of vaccines, countries like Nigeria have halted offering first jabs.
This is as a means of saving the remaining doses to be given as second jabs to those who inoculated during the first vaccination exercise.
Some experts have suggested that Ghana should switch to this approach.
But speaking to Citi News, Dr. Nsiah Asare indicated that Ghana will stick to its plans for vaccination.
“We want to vaccinate as many people as possible for a large number of the population to get their first dose. Once we do that, it brings mortality and morbidity rate and transmission of the virus down. Our aim is that we will give the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine that we have to as many people as possible. The government is also trying as much as possible through multilateral and bilateral means to bring another batch of AstraZeneca for the second dose. We are very hopeful that the 8-12 weeks period will be done here as the other countries are doing.”
The National Health Service (NHS) of the UK had warned of a significant reduction in the supply of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, produced by the Serum Institute of India.
This has heightened fears among Ghanaians about the second phase of its vaccination exercise for persons who took the Astrazeneca jabs in the first phase of the vaccination roll-out.
Ghana began its coronavirus vaccination drive on March 2, 2020, with 600,000 AstraZeneca doses it received from the global COVAX vaccine-sharing facility.
In all, Ghana has received a little over 800,000 vaccines.
These included 600,000 via the COVAX facility, 50,000 from the Indian government and 165,000 from MTN.
So far, close to 600,000 persons have received their first jab, according to the Ghana Health Service.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured that the government is on course to purchase some 42 million additional COVID-19 doses by the close of the year.
He says talks are far advanced to get the vaccines into the country.