The Manager of the Expanded Programme on immunisation (EPI) of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Kwame Amponsa-Achiano, has given an assurance that the country would soon take delivery of over 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.
He said although the GHS was expecting delivery before the close of the month, actual timelines could not be given due to manufacturers’ given condition which makes them the pre-determinants of delivery timelines.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of a coronavirus (COVID-19) event in Accra yesterday (July 13), he emphasised: “I can’t be sure of the exact time it’s coming in, but we have indications from the manufacturer that we should expect it anytime. Manufacturers are normally the re-determinants of delivery timelines.
“But once you have documentations you are assured that when it’s ready the manufacturers would send you documents to track delivery. But we don’t have that now meaning the manufacturers are still producing. Because of pressure globally, everybody is dependent on the same market,” he said.
Dr Amponsa-Achiano further stressed that stakeholders in vaccine administration were more concerned about those who had not received jabs of the COVID-19 vaccine at all.
Therefore, the Pfizer consignment is targeted at those people.
AstraZeneca second doses
Dr Amponsa-Achiano also gave the assurance that those who have taken the first shots of the AstraZeneca vaccines, would have the second shots. He, however, could not give the exact timelines, though he remained hopeful that it would be by next month.
“For those waiting to receive the second dose of the AstraZeneca, that one would come in next month. But once again, although we are very certain about the fact that it’s coming next month, we are not definite about the date.
“Initially the supplier said late July and now they are saying early August. We are, however, confident that next month we would receive more of the AstraZeneca,” he said.
The GHS statistics indicate that as of June 30, this year, it had administered more than 1.26 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
Out of that, 376,169 have received the full dose of the vaccine in the second round of the vaccination exercise, with about 375,000 people waiting for their second shot.
The GHS Manager of the Expanded Programme on immunisation emphasised that it was important for people to adhere to the safety protocols at all times and not wait until cases skyrocketed before complying.
He said with the situation far from safe, it was necessary for people to continue to wear their face masks in public, keep a social distance, wash hands frequently with soap and under running water, to protect themselves and not hinge their adherence to the case counts, as the non-adherence could contribute to the rise in active cases.
“I am a proponent of adhering to the safety protocol at all times, regardless of the national burden in terms of active cases and daily averages.” he said.
He said people, including those who had been fully vaccinated, should be individually responsible for their safety and wellbeing first and foremost and to do that the protocols, including face masking, hand and respiratory hygiene and social distancing should be strictly adhered to.
Dr Amponsa-Achiano stressed that whether there was the outbreak of the Delta or whatever variants or not, people should be more concerned about avoiding infection, which could only be done by strictly adhering to the safety protocols, regardless of whether one had been vaccinated or not.
He emphasised that vaccines were not a preventive mechanism for the infection, explaining that even with the vaccines, one could get the infection but nothing would happen but it could be passed on to people who were more vulnerable because they had not been vaccinated.
He asked people not to be egocentric and think about not just themselves but about other people’s safety too.
He said until every eligible person was vaccinated, the effective way of beating and overcoming the spread of COVID-19 and all its variants was for the people to strictly adhere to the protocols.