More than 400,000 persons in Ghana given COVID-19 vaccine during first phase

A total of 405,000 persons have been vaccinated against the Covid-19 from March 2 to 18, data from the Extended Programme on Immunization (EPI) of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has shown.

These are from 43 selected districts in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Central regions.

Those vaccinated include front-line health workers, adults aged 60 years and above, people with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, kidney diseases, hypertension, cancer, frontline security personnel, frontline government officials, the media, and all front-line workers in the formal sector.

Presently 250,368  persons in Accra, 187,510 persons  in Kumasi and 11,293 in the Central Region, have recieved thier first jab of Covishield, the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, under the first phase on the exercise.

In all, 20 million Ghanaians are expected to be vaccinated against the virus.

Dr  Kwame Amponsa –Achiano, Programme Manager of the EPI, in an intervew with the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Thursday, said females formed about 62 per cent of the number vaccinated so far.

He said about 63,033 persons with underlying health conditions, 91,000 adults aged  60 and above, about 72,332 health workers, 23,000 front line security personnel, and over 48,000 essential service workers have received their first jab.

Similarly, more than 12,000 members of the Executive, Judiciary, Legislature, 60,000 teachers aged 60 and above, 3,063 media personnel and 87,092 members of the public have been vaccinated.

Dr Amponsah-Achiano said the EPI would, from next week, begin vaccination of health workers in all the 16 regions and expressed delight with the progress so far.

He said the country had already taken delivery of 15,000 doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine from Russia but it was not in use presently.

“We have not started using it because that first and second doses of Sputnik V are not the same, the vaccine has a match dosing regimen and unfortunately, we did not get matching quantities, we are putting it on hold for now until we get matching quantities,” he said.

Dr Amponsah-Achiano said between March and May Ghana would receive additional two million doses of vaccine from the COVAX facility in bits, which could vaccinate three per cent of the population.

He said Ghana was discussing with the manufactures of Sputnik V to get additional doses, after which they would be administered to the public.

“We also hope to get additional doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through other multiple sources including the 17,000 doses announced by the President,” he said.

Dr Amponsah-Achiano encouraged the public to keep adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols by wearing a nose mask, observing social distancing, washing hands with soap under running water, or sanitizing hands frequently.

Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are common among animals.

In rare cases, they are what scientists call zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans, according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

It has an incubation period of between four to six days and fatal, especially for those with a weakened immune system; the elderly and the very young.

It could also result in pneumonia and bronchitis.

Source: GNA

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