By By NANA KOFI HAMMAH
The emergence and the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus covid-19 resulted in a global public health crisis, causing a devastating social and economic impact of the pandemic on vulnerable societies. Data released by the Ghana Health Service indicates that there has been an upsurge in the covid cases in recent times recording about 247 new infections on average each day. The data also outlined some challenges that have confronted the vaccination processes and reasons why the target has not been reached thus far.
1. Cold chain space vis-à-vis vaccine arrival intervals.
2. Intermittent challenges with internet.
3. Need for additional funds.
4. Pockets of vaccine hesitancy.
The initial target for vaccination set by the Ghana health service was 20 million persons segmented by population groups and geography excluding children less than 16/18 years and pregnant women. The December 2021 target was missed hence a revised target to mid-year 2022 to reach head immunity. The vision, however, is to vaccinate the entire population including children and pregnant women as more safety data become available.
Dr. Emmanuel Addipa Adapoe, a member of the covid-19 management team at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital tells “FOCUS”, a current affairs program on GBC, that a door-to-door campaign program is being rolled out to help sensitize the populace on the need to vaccinate and adhere to the standard protocols in preventing an infection. “Starting from the 24th through to the 28th of June 2022, health professionals will be coming to designated areas to make available the vaccines to everyone,” he noted.
Dr. Adapoe also encouraged all and sundry to participate in this exercise so as to help reduce the recent surge and contain the spread of the virus.
Dr. Emmanuel also cautioned the public to see a health facility after 6 months even if one has been fully vaccinated because the efficacy of the vaccine may go down and so there will be the need for a booster. He continued and alluded to the fact that the new cases being recorded now are those that have been reported and said, “the number will be double what we are presently recording daily if all other cases were reported. My advise therefore is for everyone to seek treatment in the hospital, so as to save themselves and others around them.”
The data released by the Ghana health service showed that 55% of women and 45% of men have been vaccinated. Addressing why the low interest in men going for the vaccines, Dr. Emmanuel said there has been a wrong impression that men are likely to be rendered impotent after taking the vaccine. He, however, debunked these assertions and said, “the safest vaccine is the one that is close to you. Covid infection can cause erectile dysfunction in extreme cases but the vaccine rather seeks to reduce or prevent such anomaly”. Your best bet, therefore, is to avoid contracting the disease by get vaccinated Dr. Emmanuel advised.
Dr. Gloria Chandi, speaking to the platform on GBC, urged the public to take charge of their own lives and take the vaccines for their own safety. She noted we don’t need to wait on the government’s directive, “your life is yours, so protect yourself”.
Everyone is therefore being asked to partake in the National Immunization Program (24th -28th June), being organized by the Ghana Health Service. For those who have taken one dose already, they are also to follow up and take the second shot. pregnant women are also safe to take the vaccine. A healthy nation is indeed a wealthy nation. Get Vaccinated Now.