Ghana, through the Health Ministry, has authorised the registration and use of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine as well as the Astrazeneca coronavirus vaccine against SARS-CoV- 2.
Programmes Manager for the Expanded Programme on Immunization, Kwame Amponsa-Akyianu, says Ghana will begin to vaccinate some 20 million persons against COVID-19 from the first week of March.
But Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), Fred Binka has expressed concern about the sputnik V vaccine which he says has not been approved by the EU.
He underscored the need to follow the standard procedures.
According to Professor Binka, there is no scientific data to provide evidence to the combinations of the Astrazeneca and sputnik V vaccine.
He told TV3 in an interview that “What has been done in the past is that we wait for the WHO, to prequalify it because the WHO has the clouts to bring all the scientific power to bear on this and then give a trial.”
Government has finally taken delivery of 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines made by the Serum Institute of India (Covishield).
The vaccines were received at the Kotoka International Airport on Wednesday, February 24 by a delegation led by the Minister-designate for Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu.
A statement issued by the Minister-designate for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, says the vaccines will be deployed to health facilities from Tuesday, March 2.
“Covid-19 vaccination will be conducted in phases among segmented populations,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi Constituency, stated.
“The first segment of the population that will receive from the 600,000 doses will be health workers, adults 60 years and over, people with underlying health conditions, frontline executive, legislature, judiciary and their related staff, frontline security personnel, some religious leaders, essential workers, teachers and other personalities in Greater Accra Metro including Awutu Senya West and Awutu Senya East in the Central Region.
“A similar segmented population in the Greater Kumasi Metro and Obuasi Municipality will also be covered.”
He said the government remains resolute at ensuring the welfare of all Ghanaians “and is making frantic efforts to acquire vaccines to cover the entire population through bilateral and multilateral agencies”.
He acknowledged the “hardwork” of the technical teams of stakeholders including the Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Health and the Covid-19 Task Force.
“Our development partners are also acknowledged for their tremendous financial and technical support.
“It is our hope that they will continue to support us in our sustained efforts in combating this virus and putting Covid-19 behind us.”