Ghanaian pharmacist in the UK has said Ghana needs to be realistic in its bid of getting Covid-19 vaccines by March 2021 as the reality on the ground does not support the optimism.
According to Kwame Sarpong Asiedu, although Ghana may receive the vaccine by next year, it may only be possible by June 2021.
“I know that we will get vaccines but I am a realist and think that we probably wouldn’t get anything trickling in, until about the second quarter of 2021,” he told Newsfile host Samson Lardy Anyenini, Saturday.
President Akufo-Addo has been very optimistic that Ghana will access the covid-19 vaccine by March 2021.
But, the Fellow of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) explained that manufacturers of the vaccines have placed some restrictions on the distribution of the vaccine hence the impossibility.
“The caveat is that you can only get as much as 20 per cent of your population and for your vulnerable people.
“The other caveat to it (the vaccine) is that it doesn’t kick in until the end of the first quarter of 2021.”
He further observed that the UK has a list of the aged and vulnerable person prioritised for the vaccination, doubting whether Ghana can boost the same.
“In the UK, there is an up to date register of a step by step vaccination protocols starting with people over 80-years old, then to 70-years and inertial residential homes, then to 65-years vulnerable population…”
Mr Asiedu noted that the Covex agreement itself has stated that health professionals and at-risk vulnerable populations should be prioritised.
“I wonder, even at this time if we have identified our vulnerable population in Ghana.”
“So when I heard the President speak and I heard others saying that we will start getting the vaccine by March, I cringe a bit because I have been following the Covex conversation,” he disclosed.
The pharmacist also noted that some of the vaccines “had to be stored on dry ice and in liquefied nitrogen because of the minus 70 degrees…” hence a need for adequate preparation ahead of receiving it.
“So yes, we will get vaccines but it will be intriguing to see how the vaccine dynamics would play and then even with the vaccine dynamics, which of the vaccines we are going to go for because of the coach in protocols.”
Almost 790,000 people in the UK had a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine as at Friday, December 24, with an expectation that the Oxford vaccines which is about 80 to 90,000 doses will be cleared by Tuesday, December 29.
He hinted that unless the manufacturing countries have gotten their doses, exporting to Ghana will be unrealistic.
“Currently, of the 1.3 billion doses of the vaccine candidates that are likely to see the light of day by the end of December, 15 countries have held them in ransomed and in stock.”