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Normality beckons as vaccination begins

Page 3 Normality 1140x570 A woman receives her jab at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. Credit: [Kobby Blay]

Wed, 3 Mar 2021 Source: thebusiness24.com.gh

Ghana on Tuesday kickstarted its drive to vaccinate at least 20 million citizens against the deadly coronavirus – to pave way for the full reopening of the country’s economy.

A week ago, the Ministry of Health took delivery of an initial 600,000 vials of vaccines donated to the country as part of the Covax initiative backed by multilateral institutions such as Gavi and the World Health Organisation.

The four-phase vaccination plan commenced with members of the executive, frontline health workers, security personnel, and persons aged 60 years and above with underlying health problems.

The mass vaccination is taking place amidst lingering public skepticism regarding the safety of the vaccines.

Health Minister Kweku Agyemang-Manu, who was among a high-profile list of dignitaries to receive their jabs at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, told Business24 that claims about dangers associated with the vaccine are unfounded.

“We have done vaccinations in this country for years. Now certain diseases are no longer present in our country – for instance, measles, polio, and several other ones. So, vaccines are nothing new to us. I don’t think this is the time anybody wants to use vaccines to destroy our country,” he said.

A survey to assess the potential acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine among Ghanaians, conducted by iRIS Research Consortium, found that about 4 in every 10 Ghanaians say they would not get the vaccine.

“In general, there is about 60 percent vaccine acceptance levels within the sampled adult population, indicating an overall positive attitude towards taking the vaccine. Nevertheless, our survey results suggest that attaining the proverbial 70 percent herd immunity threshold in Ghana is only possible if the preventive vaccination programmes, which just commenced in-country, are combined with an enhanced and coordinated public education campaign,” the researchers said in a press release.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, who on Monday became the first person to receive the jab, appealed to Ghanaians to participate in the process when it becomes fully available to the general public, as it is the surest way of returning to a path of normalcy.

Source: thebusiness24.com.gh
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