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Clients going for second dose of COVID-19 vaccines turned away   

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…as specific vaccines are unavailable

Clients in the Krowor Municipality in the Greater Accra region going for their second dose of the two-dose Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are being turned away.

Ahead of hints of the mandatory vaccination by the Ministry of Health this month, the shortage of the Moderna vaccine is posing a challenge to health authorities in the municipality when it comes to giving the second dose of the vaccine to those who are due.

There are reports that this situation is also playing out in adjoining areas such as the Tema West Municipality.

Clients, who had in December 2020 taken their first shot of the Moderna vaccine and were following up to complete their vaccination with the second dose in January this month, have to be turned away because of uncertainties about when the vaccine would be available.

During a visit last week by ghanabusinessnews.com to a vaccination centre in the Buade area in the Krowor Municipality, people who have already received the first shot of the Moderna vaccine were turning up but had to leave without any assurance of a second dose.

Health officials are unable to say exactly when the Moderna vaccines would be available to enable people complete their vaccination with a second dose.

During a visit by ghanabusinessnews.com to one vaccination centre, it was found that the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines were however, being administered .

The situation is still the same this week, calling into question hints by the Ministry of Health to make the COVID-19 vaccination compulsory, in the midst of such vaccine shortage challenges.

When ghanabusinessnews.com followed up this week to the Krowor Municipal Health Directorate, a source at the directorate could not give any reason for the shortage of the Moderna vaccine and why people who had taken the first shot are being turned away and are not able to be fully vaccinated with a second dose.

The source had indicated that they are aware of the shortages but directed that the answers on the shortage should be sought from the Greater Accra Regional Health Directorate, since the districts can only administer vaccines made available to them.

The shortage of such vaccines has implications and throws into doubt how the government is going to enforce its mandatory vaccination policy, which has partially kicked in with some people being turned away from accessing some public offices such as the Ministry of Health.

Shortage of vaccines has in the past, held back progress globally in getting some countries to vaccinate their populations.

Currently, more than 9.4 billion vaccine doses have been administered globally, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) sources.

In a recent statement by the Director-General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, he noted that at the current pace of vaccine rollout, 109 countries would miss out on fully vaccinating 70 per cent of their populations by the start of July 2022.

More statistics from the global body also indicates that more than 85 per cent of the population of Africa – about one billion people – is yet to receive a single dose of a vaccine.

By Eunice Menka

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