Ceremony to welcome COVID-19 vaccine necessary – Journalist insists

Deputy Editor of the Daily Dispatch newspaper, Peter Ankomah, has commended the Akufo-Addo government for making arrangements for Ghana to receive COVID-19 vaccines for citizens.

Speaking on the Morning Update on TV XYZ, the journalist argued that the government did not err in holding a short ceremony to unveil the vaccine at the Kotoka International Airport on Wednesday.

The government was chastised on social media for the ceremony. among them were some journalists, including investigative journalist Manasseh Awuni, who condemned the act and said it was a funfair to waste the taxpayers’ funds.

But Ankomah disagreed with the critics, saying the ceremony was to pave way for education of the masses to begin ahead of administering the vaccine.

“I can tell you  that, at the function the WHO rep was there; UNICEF rep was there  and I strongly agree to the fact that  that a short ceremony without singing and dancing,” Ankomah said.

He added it was to ” at least symbolise that, look here, we’ve gotten a vaccine and that Ghana is the first country to have benefitted from the vaccine in Africa.”

He said the event was not bad, adding the controversy surrounding the ceremony has helped to create awareness about the fact that COVID-19 exists in the country and a vaccine can help reduce the spread of the deadly virus.

He also took the opportunity to urge Ghanaians to take the vaccine, allaying fears that it has bad effects on Ghanaians.

Vaccine is safe

Meanwhile, the Director of the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) at the University of Ghana, Prof. Gordon Akanzuwine Awandare, has urged Ghanaians to avail themselves to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The parasitologist said the vaccines that will be administered across the country went through ” a very rigorous test” by agencies including the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) before they were approved.

“They [the vaccines] have shown the ability to protect people from getting sick when they are exposed to the virus,” Prof. Awandare told Morning Update host Eric Ahianyo on TV XYZ.

Ghana Thursday morning took delivery of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (Covishield) made by the Serum Institute of India.

The 600,000 doses is the first consignment of vaccines acquired through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) which Ghana, among 92 countries, has signed unto.

There have been conspiracy theories surrounding the vaccine but Prof Awandare believes although some persons who will take the jab might react differently, it is associated with every vaccine and for tha matter citizens should do well to be part of the vaccination programme.

“We need to embrace this intervention and everybody should take the vaccine when they get the opportunity so that we can begin to slow down the transmission of the virus as soon as possible,” he admonished.

To be able to clear all misconceptions among the populace, Prof. Awandare urged the government to roll out an “aggressive” campaign to educate the citizens about the vaccine and its positive effects on the country.

Vaccine Plan

The people that will benefit from the vaccine plan in the interim are health workers, adults 60 years and over, people with underlying health conditions, frontline executive, legislature, judiciary and their related staff.

The others are frontline security personnel, some religious leaders, essential workers, teachers and other personalities in Greater Accra Metro including Awutu Senya West and Awutu Senya East in the Central Region.

According to a Graphic report, a similar segmented population in the Greater Kumasi Metro and Obuasi municipality in the Ashanti Region will also be covered.


By Henryson Okrah|

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