The Ashanti Regional Ghana Health Service (GHS) on Wednesday launched a four-day vaccination campaign to intensify the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines across the country.
The campaign, which runs from Wednesday, July 19 to Sunday, July 23, 2023, is to ensure that Ghana reaches the required target to guarantee the safety of Ghanaians, and to integrate the exercise into the country’s routine immunisation programme.
The Regional Director of the GHS, Dr Emmanuel Tenkorang speaking at the launch of the 7th COVID-19 vaccination campaign, said despite the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) declaration that the pandemic was no longer a public emergency concern, there was a need to get the population vaccinated because the disease was still prevalent.
“This declaration does not mean that the COVID-19 pandemic is over, what it means is that under the International Health Regulations, the management of the pandemic is taking a different approach, integrating COVID-19 into existing health delivery mechanisms,” he said.
“The WHO, therefore, recommends that countries maintain efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccination coverage for all persons to maintain the gains made in our fight against the disease,” he added.
Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang noted that the national vaccination exercise, which began on March 1, 2021, had yielded positive results, adding that there was a need to do more to ensure that more people got vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
He expressed worry that almost 70 per cent of the Ghanaian population was unvaccinated, warning that the entire populace was not safe until the last Ghanaian took the jab.
“As of yesterday, nearly 26 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had reached almost 14 million persons, out of which 10 million persons are fully vaccinated,” he said, noting that though the figure represented about 59 per cent of the target, “the county was still far from achieving its national target.”
“This means the whole population still stands a risk of a likely event of new variants as COVID-19 remains extremely unpredictable.”