Ghana Health Service gears up for next phase of vaccination as it takes delivery of 480,000 AstraZeneca vaccines

By Nathaniel Nartey.

The Ghana Health Service (GHS), is gearing up for the next phase of vaccination against Covid-19. The Service currently has 1.4 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson and Moderna vaccines in stock and is expected to take delivery of more than 480 thousand jabs of the Astra Zeneca on Monday, September 13, 2021.

Manager of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation at the Service, Dr. Amponsah-Achiano told Nathaniel Nartey that delay in the roll out of the vaccine is as a result of training workshops being organized for personnel involved in the vaccination, which he described as critical. He said roll out of the vaccines will be done in 2 weeks, after the training ends this week.

“This week we are doing the training on Wednesday and Thursday and we will do the vaccination within the next 2 weeks and not beyond that. We will do the national one then the regions will do that for the districts,” he explained.

Explaining why the Ghana Health Service conducts training workshops ahead of each vaccination, Dr. Amponsah-Achiano said, “every vaccine comes with its own characteristics so you cannot put everything in an omnibus. For example, you get one vaccination that is a 10 dose vials and others are 8 dose vials. The characteristics are different; the color is different with different instructions so we need to reorient the people, otherwise, they will use the old knowledge they have on the first vaccine roll out on the other brands. The Moderna vaccine has different temperature requirements, storage is different, how to draw is also different, some vaccines are sensitive to light and others are not.”

Commenting on the status of the 408 vaccine freezers, fridges and cold boxes acquired for the storage of the brands of Covid 19 vaccines that require low and ultra-low temperatures, Dr. Achiano said the Ghana Health Service has already concluded the distribution of the equipment and is currently supervising its installment.

“With the equipment received so far some of the regions have installed them and at the national level, we have installed 6 of them. So some are installing and others have challenges with getting funding to install. So I would say that installation is still ongoing, but as for the distribution we are done,” Dr. Amponsah-Achiano stated.

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