GHS: We are ready to administer COVID-19 vaccines
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says it is ready to administer the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines, tomorrow all things being equal, to protect the populace against the infection.
Director of Health Promotion, Dr Dacosta Aboagye, who made the disclosure to the Ghanaian Times yesterday said the vaccines had been dispatched to various vaccination centres to commence the exercise, urging all members of the public who fall within the initial group to go out and take their shots.
“We have begun moving the vaccines yesterday (Sunday) and by close of today, Monday, all vaccination centres would have received their consignment so that on Tuesday, we begin the exercise.
“We have trained all teams that will take part in the exercise from the national, regional and district teams as well as supervisors to handle this first phase of immunisation and we already have a robust Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) which we will leverage on to administer these 600,000 doses so we are confident to have a successful exercise,” he said.
Dr Aboagye, who assured Ghanaians of the safety of the vaccines indicated that availing oneself was important to attain herd immunity in the country and slow down infection, severity of illness and deaths from COVID-19.
“You have to take the shot to protect yourself, family, community and nation as a whole. You not taking it is dangerous to your health, dangerous to your family, dangerous to the community and Ghana as a whole.
“Once you vaccinate and I do, and everyone else does same, it protects us from getting the virus and even if you get, it reduces the severity of the disease and possible deaths significantly,” he said.
According to Dr Aboagye, only GHS staff and volunteers in identifiable attires would administer the vaccines after which one would be given a card to “inform you of when to take your next dose.”
He said a special campaign by the Service in collaboration with other stakeholders, including the Information Service Department (ISD), National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Civil Society Groups, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as well as health promotion officers would inform the public on when and where to go for their vaccination.
“We will do social mobilization so these groups will have the schedules as well and be in the communities to help us mobilise the people when it is their turn to vaccinate,” he said.
The Head of Risk Communication further submitted that normal symptoms like headaches and bodily pains were expected after taking a jab adding however that in case of severe reaction, members of the public could lodge the complaint on the Food and Drugs Authority “Med Safety app” as well as the nearest health facility or community pharmacy.
“The vaccines are safe. It saves lives and we should all go out to vaccinate and disregard conspiracy theories. The vaccines won’t kill any Ghanaian neither will it cause infertility but rather protect you and prevent you from contracting the virus.
Should you even get infected, once you have taken the vaccine, it reduces your chances of being severely ill or dying from it. Let us all get vaccinated for the whole country to get immunity but until then, keep adhering to the protocols by washing your hands, sanitising and social distancing,” he advised.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH