The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has approved AstraZeneca and Sputnik-V vaccines for the treatment of Covid-19 in Ghana.
According to the Authority, these vaccines were chosen ahead of others such as Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson based on safety, efficacy, chemical formula, ease of storage, cost, delivery feasibility and availability.
This was disclosed to the press at a forum organised by the Ministry of Information in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service (GHS) to engage the public on plans to roll out the Covid-19 vaccination campaign in the country.
In an address, the Programme Manager for Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) of GHS, Dr. Kwame Amponsa-Achiano, said the GHS and its partners have drafted National Vaccine Deployment Plan to aid distribution of the drugs, adding that the said plan was targeting three priority segments of the population.
He hinted that first on the priority list were health care workers, frontline security personnel, persons with known underlying medical conditions, people above 60 years and frontline members of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, saying these people were most at risk.
He added that second on the priority list were persons working with water supply services, electricity supply services, teachers and students, supply and distribution of fuels, farmers and those involved in the food value chain, telecommunications services, air traffic and civil aviation control services, Meteorological Services, air transport services, waste management services, media, public and private commercial transport services.
He said these people were essential service providers, adding that the second phase would also be expanded to include Securities and Intelligence Agencies, the Police Service, Ghana Armed Forces, Prisons Service, Immigration Service, National Fire Service, Ghana Revenue Authority and the rest of the people working with the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature.
He disclosed that the third phase of vaccination would cover people above 18 years and said pregnant women and persons under 18 years have been exempted from the vaccination programme due to inadequate information on how they would react to the vaccines.
He hinted that 12,471 vaccinators, 37,413 volunteers and 2079 supervisors would be deployed to administer the vaccines, adding that these people would undergo training before the vaccination campaign.
He said the estimated cost of the vaccine is US$ 2.60 (US$3.00) per person for two shots which is the required dosage for every person.
He hinted that a little over 350,000 doses of Covishield (AstraZeneca) are expected in the country by end of February 2021 and the distribution would start in March 2021.
On his part, the Minister-designate for Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, urged Ghanaians to participate in the vaccination programme and dispel rumours on the negative effects of the vaccine.
Constance Evans-Kekrebesi, ISD