Research Fellow at Ghana Centre for Democratic Development and Pharmacist, Dr Kwame Sarpong Asiedu

A pharmacist and Research Fellow at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has cast doubt on government’s optimism to receive the second consignment of Covid-19 vaccines in the early days of May.

According to Dr Kwame Asiedu Sarpong, due to the erratic surge of cases in India, the country currently producing all the vaccines for Africa, government cannot confidently promise citizens the timely arrival of the drugs.

He insisted that the vaccine nationalism being imposed in India and some parts of the world will persist until those countries have obtained their herd immunity before other countries including Ghana receives its consignment.

“With the vaccines, it is rather unfortunate that probably the May prediction might not be realised, that is because unfortunately, all the global companies that are manufacturing the vaccines for Africa are Indian situated.

“So now that they are going through a surge, you must bear in mind that it is going to affect their workforce turn over which means that production will severely diminish. I have seen correspondents stating that their production has diminished to about 9 per cent. And so it is going to impact on the global supply chain,” he told host Kojo Yankson.

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Health Ministry after receiving the first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines touted their earnest efforts to procure more vaccines for the country.

President Akufo-Addo in one of his periodic address to the nation announced that the target is to procure at least 17.6 million doses and vaccinate 20 million citizens by June 2021.

But in April, the nation witnessed a setback when vaccines expected failed to arrive due to the vaccine ban imposed by the Indian government following India’s spike in cases.

This, Dr Asiedu Sarpong claims, is completely out of government’s control.

He then recommended that the safety measures that have somewhat being disregarded by a section of Ghanaians must be reintroduced to avert the escalation of the disease in the country.

“Unfortunately like I said, there is not a lot our government or any other government can do about it. It is just what it is, and we just have to learn from it and continue to abide by the protocols.

“This is because if these countries do not get immunity headcount then I’m sorry but the vaccine nationalism is not going to stop,” he said.