The Ghana Health Service has stated that the mandatory vaccination directive is not an imposition on the public.

Speaking on the Super Morning Show, on December 15, 2021, the Director for Public Health at the Service, Dr. Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe said, “it’s not right [to say] that government is forcing the vaccines down the throat of Ghanaians. What we are saying is that under some conditions, we expect you to be vaccinated but if you don’t want to we can have an alternative for you.

“For other countries what they do is that when you decide not to get vaccinated, you need to prove that you’re not affected, so you’re given the chance to do a PCR testing,” he said.

Here in Ghana, GHS is yet to institute such alternatives, the Director said. However, persons who for health reasons, cannot take the shots, would be exempted from vaccination.

“We have medical exceptions for people who qualify,” he said.

He emphasised that the vaccines increase one’s chances of immunity against the virus and the severity of the effect, should one get infected, hence, the need for all to get vaccinated.

“It’s not that the government is trying to force the vaccine on people, but we are looking at the benefits of taking it,” he said.

He further stated that the Service will welcome alternatives from the public on what measures to adopt if one decides not to take the vaccines.

“We should have a discourse on what alternatives to adopt if one does not want to take the vaccine,” he said.

This comes on the back of the Service’s announcement that effective December 14, 2021, all travelers leaving and entering the country must provide proof of full vaccination.

The Service added that “all unvaccinated Ghanaians and residents who are currently outside the country and intend to return within 14 days from the midnight of the said date, are exempted,” however, this group, will be vaccinated on arrival at the airport.

The Director-General of the GHS, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, who announced the modifications at the airport, also announced on Sunday, December 12, 2021, that effective January, 2022, the government will institute a mandatory vaccination policy targeted at certain groups including all public sector and health workers.

These are all part of measures to complement the government’s efforts at ensuring that the virus is kept under control and the pandemic has the minimum impact on the citizenry.

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