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General News of Saturday, 11 December 2021

Source: 3news.com

COVID-19: Ablakwa casts doubt on Ghana’s ability to attain herd immunity

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament for North Tongu

North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said Ghana cannot attain herd immunity in the quest to defeat the coronavirus pandemic.

He said that despite the fact that by current analyses, only 2.7% of Ghanaians are fully vaccinated with total vaccine donation and pledges only capable of catering for a maximum of 40% of the Ghanaian adult population in a best-case scenario, that is if none expires or gets damaged; the government could not at the very least maintained its previous budgetary of GH¢500million to purchase vaccines.

Government, he added, could only provide for GH¢300milion in the 2022 budget for vaccine purchases.

At a generous US$10 average cost per dose, he said, that allocation will cater for only a 2.5million double-vaccinated Ghanaians, he added

“This does not account for potential booster shots, particularly with the Omicron threat. At this, attaining herd immunity can only be a mirage,” the former Deputy Minister of Education tweeted on Saturday, December 11 2021.

The month of December has been declared by the GHS had as the vaccination month.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Sunday, November 28, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kumah-Aboagye said vaccination was the surest way to deal with the virus.

He further assured that the authorities are going to scale up surveillance measures at the Kotoka International Airport during the Christmas season to ensure that COVID-19 infections do not increase.

He further said that the mistakes that were made in December last year which occasioned the escalation of infections in January this year, will not be repeated.

There is going to be “strict enforcement of the protocols at the KIA. We are going to increase surveillance. We are expecting an increased number of people to arrive in the country.

“We are going to ensure that our logistics are prepared, we will continue our surveillance to be able to look at that, we are going to look at isolation centres,” he said.

He added “Our contact tracing will be strengthened.

“We are going to engage with religious organizations to ensure that activities in done in Christmas are in accordance with Covid protocols.”

Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsia Asare, allayed fears of persons who are worried about the potential reaction from taking the covid vaccine.

He stated that it is normal to experience headaches, body pains and other reactions. These are indications that the vaccine is functioning properly in the body, he said.

“If you are vaccinated and you feel slight headache it means the vaccine is working very well,” he said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday, December 4 with Dzifa Bampoh.

Dr Nsia Asare further urged all persons who are yet to receive their vaccines to do so in order to save their lives and the lives of others.

In his view, Ghana cannot afford to go through fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic hence the government, through the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has taken the vaccination exercise a step higher in order to get as many as possible inoculated.

Vaccination centres, he stated, are being created closed to the people in the communities including market areas to make it easier for them to go through the exercise.

“We cannot afford a fourth wave,” he said, adding that “we can all do this together if you are vaccinated,” he said.

The GHS) this week issued new guidelines to deal with the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana ahead of the Christmas season.

The guidelines include measures to vaccinate as many as possible before Christmas on December 25.

In a press release issued on Thursday, December 9, the GHS said “All persons, 18 years and above arriving in Ghana will be required to provide evidence of full vaccination for Covid-19 vaccines.

“All unvaccinated Ghanaians and residents of Ghana who are currently outside the country and intend to return within 14 days from the midnight of 12 December 2021 are exempted. However, they would be vaccinated on arrival at the airport.”

It added, “all Ghanaians travelling out of the country are to be fully vaccinated effectively 12th midnight 2021.”

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