Dr. Franklin Asiedu Bekoe

Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Franklin Asiedu Bekoe says that Ghana has submitted a request to the Covax facility for Covid-19 vaccines.

Speaking on JoyNews’ News Desk, he said there are two steps in acquiring the vaccine.

He added that President Akufo-Addo has established a high-level committee that appears to work immediate and medium-term to ensure that Ghana will be able to manufacture its own vaccine.

He explained that Ghana is looking at several options of the vaccine from different facilities.

Some of these are the Covax, Chinese and Russia facilities. But currently, the country has made a submission to the Covax facility.

He further explained that the Covax faciltiy is made up of key stakeholders such as; WHO, UNICEF, all the key development partners who have put together this facility to ensure that member states are able to get some minimum number of vaccine doses.

Dr Bekoe told host Bernice Abu-Baidoo Lansah that what the Covax does is, it gives countries vaccines to a tune of about 20% of their population.

“For a country like Ghana, it means that that facility will get us up to about six million,” he said.

According to him, the distribution of the vaccine will be determined by the data generated by the Ghana Health Service during the pandemic.

“if you look at our data in terms of the disease state and in terms of death, you’d realize that there are variants. The common population that gets the disease or the infection between 20 to 49.”

He said the team is recommending to government that the first line of people to get vaccinated will be the health workers because they are always exposed to the virus.

“Then we’re going to look at the persons with underlying morbidities. Persons who have hypertension, diabetes, or even cancers. They’ll be the most likely group. And then we look at the aged i.e people more than 60 years.”

He stressed on the fact that the whole population is at risk and thus the vaccine distribution will be done in graduations.

He further iterated that the novel coronavirus is not common in children under 15 years.

“So assuming we are hard-pressed, we would go for above 15 years and not focus on under 14. That is assuming we are hard-pressed in terms of numbers.”

Dr Bekoe added that the Convax vaccine will be available either during the first quarter of 2021 or the later part of 2021 and it will be made available in the country in “sequential flow”.

But the target, he said, is for the vaccine to be readily available in the country during the first quarter of 2021.

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