Ghana makes vaccine against COVID-19 mandatory for target groups from January – Community News
Covid-19

Ghana makes vaccine against COVID-19 mandatory for target groups from January

A nurse prepares a dose of the vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the vaccination campaign at Ridge Hospital in Accra, Ghana, March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko/File Photo

Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.com

ACCRA, Nov. 28 (Reuters) – Ghana will ramp up its COVID-19 immunization campaign next month and make the vaccine mandatory for target groups including all public sector and health professionals from Jan. 22, said Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, director-general of the health service. Sunday.

Ghana, like most African countries, has seen a slow uptake of COVID-19 vaccinations despite an increase in stocks. Only 1.4 million people of the 30 million inhabitants of Ghana are fully vaccinated.

The government will conduct a vaccination campaign in December, after which the vaccine will be mandatory for employees in all branches of government, health professionals, security personnel, secondary and tertiary education staff and students, and commercial drivers, Kuma-Aboagye told a news conference.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.com

“Businesses with hesitant vaccines pose a risk to gains made so far. The current low numbers registered in the country may not be sustained if vaccine uptake does not increase significantly,” he said.

He said a vaccination certificate will also be required for nightclubs, beaches, sports stadiums and restaurants.

Only 21% of the target population has received the first dose, while 7% have been fully vaccinated, according to data from the Ministry of Health. Ghana has so far recorded 131,083 cases of coronavirus and 1,220 deaths.

Kuma-Aboagye said the health ministry currently hopes to double daily vaccinations of more than 142,000 as the country braces for a possible increase in cases after the holidays.

The head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday that many African countries are struggling with the logistics of accelerating their COVID-19 immunization campaigns. Only 6.6% of the African population of 1.2 billion people is fully vaccinated. read more

The country has received more than 12 million doses and will receive about 7 million more by the end of December, Kuma-Aboagye said.

Kuma-Aboagye said mobile health teams will deliver vaccines to schools, markets, churches and door-to-door in villages.

“They won’t come out and get the vaccine, but if you bring it to them, they’ll take it,” he said.

He added that the Omicron variant has not yet been identified in Ghana.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.com

Reporting by Christian Akorlie Writing by Bate Felix Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.