Director-General of the Ghana Health Services (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye has warned that overreliance on free Covid-19 vaccines from donors will not help us get ready access to enough jabs.

The GHS boss believes this will hinder the country’s target of vaccinating 20 million people.

He says the donor countries do not have enough vaccines and have not finished vaccinating their countries to have enough to spare for African countries.

According to him, efforts are being made by the Africa Union (AU) to procure about 400 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines.

But these quantities will not be readily available soon enough to help Ghana meet its national target.

Speaking on Accra-based Metro TV, he shared the readiness level of the country to store any of the vaccines due to the upscaling of cold chain infrastructure and the ability to vaccinate up to 6 million people in four days should we have enough vaccines.

At a time when all the other continents are averaging between 30-50% vaccinations rates of their population, Africa has vaccinated only 3.9% of the population.

This is because Africa was over-reliant on the COVAX programme through which GAVI and its donor partners would have made free donations available to Africa.

Ghana was given 640,000 Astra Zeneca doses from this facility.

Countries like Malta, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Brazil are in the top 20 league of countries with the highest vaccination rate because they looked beyond the conventional route to start vaccinating with the WHO-approved Chinese and Sputnik vaccines supplied through direct government-to-government and augmented by credible accredited third-party sources.

In Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and other North African countries are doing the same and currently have over 35% average vaccination rates for the region.

Ghana lies 16th on the league table with a vaccination rate of 2.8%.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and Ghana Medical Association (GMA) have all warned about the urgent need for vaccination for more people to survive the ongoing 3rd wave being caused by the more deadly delta virus variant of Covid 19 virus.

It is hoped that Mr Agyemang Manu, the Minister of Health can use his experience and network as the Board Chairman of GAVI to get the country access to vaccines from any credible source to help put Ghana back on the league of countries that are putting priority on vaccinating its people.

 



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