Ghana will be taking stock of the COVID-19 vaccines by close of this week.
This is contrary to earlier assurances given by government that the vaccines will arrive on Monday, February 22, 2021.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, the Programme Manager of the Expanded Programme on Immunization of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Kwame Amponsa-Achiano said, the arrival of the vaccines have been delayed due to documentation and various request put in by different countries.
“We have indications that by close of the week, we will get the vaccine, so we are just waiting for the documentation which we are likely to get by close of business today. So from 6 pm thereabout we will be able to tell exactly the date and time of arrival but definitely before the end of the week.”
“We will need an airway bill, batch release certificates, a commercial invoice, packing list and a certificate of analysis. Of course, we will also be needing a purchasing order. That is what we are waiting for,” he told host of Eyewitness News, Umaru Amadu Sanda.
He also explained that the distribution of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines will primarily focus on a “segmented population”.
This segmented population, according to Dr. Amponsah-Achiano, includes persons with underlying conditions and health workers.
He explained that these persons need to be vaccinated first because they are at a higher risk of either contracting the virus or succumbing to it.
“The distribution plan is well laid out. We are looking at different groups. Those who are at most risk – frontline health workers and people with underlying conditions. We have also done some segmentation. We are hopeful that we will get more in addition so eventually, we will go nationwide but for now, only a segmented population will get access.”
Dr. Amponsah-Achiano said government officials will also have access to the first doses of the vaccines to boost public confidence.
The Food and Drugs Authority has approved the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines for use in Ghana.
The government has also considered Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
It has already indicated that it had plans to purchase 350,000 doses of the AstraZeneca by the end of February.
The vaccination target is 20 million persons.
The Minister-Designate for Information, Oppong Nkrumah earlier said there will also be public sensitisation campaigns by the Local Government Service, Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service, National Commission for Civic Education and Information Services Department to educate the public on the vaccination.
The Greater Accra, Ashanti and Western regions will receive priority in the rollout because of the prevalence of infection in these areas, according to the Ghana Health Service.