President Akufo-Addo together with First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo will today receive the first dose of the 600,000 Covid-19 vaccines that arrived in the country on Wednesday.

The exercise, which will include a similar one by Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and wife, Samira Bawumia is aimed at boosting public confidence in the new vaccine procured for the citizens.

On Wednesday, February 24, government took delivery of 600,000 AstraZeneca dose as part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global vaccine-sharing program. 

This follows weeks of debate about the safety of the vaccine, anticipated side-effects and the country’s vaccination roll out plan.

While some social media users say they will not take the vaccine when offered, some health experts have argued that more education on the drug must be given.

In a statement released by the Information Ministry minutes after the arrival of the vaccines at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), the sector minister-designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the “Covid-19 vaccination will be conducted in phases among segmented populations.”

He had explained that the first segment of the population who will be vaccinated are “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, and teachers.”

Confirming this during the 24th televised address to the nation on Sunday, February 28, President Akufo-Addo said “the AstraZeneca vaccine is one of two vaccines that have, so far, been approved and declared as safe-for-use by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).”

“As your President, I want to assure you that the vaccine is safe. That is why tomorrow, on Monday, March 1, ahead of the commencement of the vaccination programme on Tuesday, March 2, my wife the First Lady, the Vice President, his wife the Second Lady, and I will take the vaccine publicly at two health facilities in Accra,” he said.

 The President also explained that from Tuesday, March 2, to Monday, March 15, the Ghana Health Service will begin deployment of the 600,000 AstraZeneca vaccines, with persons in Groups 1 and 2 being the target of this first vaccination campaign.

It will be conducted in 43 districts, which are the epi-centres of the pandemic in the country.

They include 25 districts in Greater Accra, 16 in Ashanti, and two in the Central Region. 

Meanwhile, key public officials such as the Speaker and Members of Parliament, the Chief Justice and Justices of the Superior Court of Judicature, Chairperson and Members of the Council of State, the Chief of Staff and senior officials at the Office of the President, and prominent personalities like some Eminent Clergy, the National Chief Imam, the Asantehene, the Ga Mantse, and some media practitioners will also, on Tuesday, take the jab publicly.