Ghana is set to roll out its COVID-19 vaccination program after Akufo-Addo and Dr Bawumia received their jabs on Monday
President Nana Akufo-Addo and his vice-president Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Monday (1 March 2021) got vaccinated against the deadly COVID-19 disease.
Akufo-Addo and his wife Rebecca received their jabs at the 37 Military Hospital before Bawumia and his spouse Samira went through the inoculation at the Police Hospital in Accra.
“We’ve all had a very difficult time since last year. Fortunately, scientists in the world have now found what could be a permanent antidote to what I call pestilence that has affected all of our lives. It is important that I set the example that this vaccine is safe by being the first to have it so that every body in Ghana will feel comfortable about taking this vaccine,” Akufo-Addo stated before receiving the vaccine.
He added: “It is important that everybody at the end of the day is vaccinated. The vaccine doesn’t mean we are throwing away all the other protocols. They remain in place until we are satisfied that the virus finally disappears from the soil of Ghana.”
The first family were issued with COVID-19 vaccination certificates having gone through successful exercise at the military hospital.
For his part, Dr Bawumia stated: “We’re taking the vaccine today to assure the public and Ghanaians in general that it’s safe… and the FDA has really assured us and we’re very confident in the safety of this vaccine.
“We’re asking all Ghanaians to be cooperative in this process of vaccination. Please don’t listen to the naysayers who want to spread conspiracy theory about this vaccine… this is to protect all of us and our economy, so we move forward. It’s in our collective interest to take this vaccine.”
Roll out plan
Ghana is the first country in the world to take delivery of vaccines under the COVAX facility.
President Akufo-Addo said Group 1 is categorised as “persons most at risk and frontline State officials”.
This includes healthcare workers, frontline security personnel, persons with underlying medical conditions, persons 60 years and above, and frontline members of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.
Group 2 is made up of other essential service providers and the rest of the security agencies.
It includes water and electricity supply services, teachers and students, supply and distribution of fuels, farmers and food value chain, telecommunications services, air traffic and civil aviation control services, meteorological services, air transport services and waste management services.
The second category also includes the media, public and private commercial transport services, the Police Service, Armed Forces, Prisons Service, Immigration Service, National Fire Service, CEPS Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, and other members of the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislature.
Group 3 consists of the rest of the general public, that is all persons over 18 years, except for pregnant women.
Group 4, which the final group includes pregnant mothers and persons under the age of 18, and they will be vaccinated when an appropriate vaccine, hopefully, is found, or when enough safety data on the present vaccines are available. Special arrangements will be made for persons with disabilities who fall within these groups.
From Tuesday 2 March to Monday 15 March 2021, the Ghana Health Service will begin the deployment of 600,000 AstraZeneca vaccines.
The exercise is expected to be conducted in 43 districts, which are the epi-centers of the pandemic in the country.
They are 25 districts in Greater Accra, 16 in Ashanti, and two in the Central Region.