President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed worry about some persons who continue to express doubts about the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccines, as well as, the conspiracy theories that suggest the vaccine is created to wipe out the African race.
“This is far from the truth. The domestic regulatory agency, the Food and Drugs Authority, which is one of the most reputable in Africa and the world, has certified the safe use of the vaccine.
“It will not do so if it had any reservations about the safety of the vaccines and I am on record as saying that, no vaccine will be deployed in the country for use without the expert certification of the FDA.”
Addressing the nation on Sunday, February 28, 2021, on measures taken to combat the pandemic, President Akufo-Addo said taking the vaccine “will not alter your DNA. It will not embed any tracking device in your body neither will it cause any infertility in women or men.”
“As your President, I want to assure you that the vaccine is safe. That is why tomorrow, on Monday, March 1, ahead of the commencement of the vaccination programme on Tuesday, March 2, my wife, the First Lady, the Vice President and his wife, the Second Lady and I, will take the vaccine publicly in two health facilities in Accra.
“Some public officials such as the Speaker of Parliament, the Chief Justice and Justices of the Superior Court of Judicature, Chairperson and members of the Council of State, the Chief of Staff and officials of the office of the President and prominent personalities and members of the Clergy, the national Chief Imam, the Asantehene, the Ga Mantse and some media practitioners will also on Tuesday take the jab publicly.”
The AstraZeneca vaccines, the President indicated, are one of the two vaccines that have so far been approved by the country’s Food and Drugs Authority and cleared for safe use.
Ghana becomes the first country in the world to take delivery of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Wednesday, February 24, from the Covax scheme which is aimed at reducing the divide between rich countries and poorer nations unable to buy doses.
With the process of certification currently ongoing for the other vaccines, the range of vaccines to the country will increase. This will facilitate the country’s ability to reach its target of vaccinating 20 million Ghanaians by the end of 2021.
The President encouraged faith-based groups, civil society organisations, the media and all Ghanaians to support the public education campaign associated with the exercise.
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) will from Tuesday, March 2 to Monday, March 15, begin the deployment of the 600,000 AstraZeneca vaccines to persons targeted by the vaccination campaign.
It will be conducted in 43 districts which are the epic centres of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
There are 25 in Greater Accra, 16 in Ashanti and two in the Central Region. The GHS is expected to give precise details soon.
President Akufo-Addo said while the GHS is tentatively concentrating on the 43 epic centre districts, preparations are being made for the vaccination of 20 million Ghanaians through the deployment of 12,071 vaccinators, 37, 413 volunteers and 2,079 supervisors for the entire vaccination campaign.
The President said through the national vaccine development plan, the country’s population has been segmented into four groups, which will determine which segment of the population gets vaccinated at a particular time.
He said the vaccination will start with frontline health workers, those over 60, people with underlying health conditions and senior officials who will be prioritised.
The last segment — pregnant women and children under the age of 18 — will be vaccinated when the country finds appropriate vaccines, or when there is appropriate data on the safety of the vaccines currently in use.
Special arrangements, the President indicated, will be made for persons with disabilities who fall within these various groups.
President Akufo-Addo canvassed support from all Ghanaians to make the vaccination campaign a success.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD