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General News of Monday, 26 July 2021

Source: IIyaas Al-Hasan, Contributor

Government to inoculate entire adult population by close of year - Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated his government's resolve to vaccinate the entire adult population of the country, representing twenty million people of the population.

Giving the breakdown of the vaccination since it started in the country, the president pledged the commitment of his administration to ensure all adults receive their share of the vaccines despite the high demand for the commodity globally.

"Government stands by its commitment to vaccinate twenty million Ghanaians, i.e., the entire adult population, by the end of this year, in spite of the huge global demand for vaccines by countries, and the surge in infections the world over. So far, one million, two hundred and seventy-one thousand, three hundred and ninety-three (1,271,393) vaccine doses have been administered, with eight hundred and sixty-five thousand, four hundred and twenty-two (865,422) persons having received a single jab, and four hundred and five thousand, nine hundred and seventy-one (405,971) persons have received their full dose of two (2) jabs," the president said.

President Akufo-Addo revealed there would be enough vaccines available to the country by close of the third quarter of the year. He said the country was expecting to take deliveries of some vaccines from the COVAX facility, the United States, the African Union, the United Kingdom as well as the African Medicine Supply Platform.

"Indications are that, in the course of the third quarter of this year, the availability of vaccines for our country will ramp up. We are expecting, through the COVAX facility, one million Pfizer vaccines from the United States of America, two hundred and twenty-nine thousand, six hundred and seventy (229,670) Pfizer vaccines from the African Union, and two hundred and forty-nine thousand (249,000) AstraZeneca vaccines from the United Kingdom.

"Government is also in the process of procuring seventeen million (17 million) single dose per person Johnson & Johnson vaccines, through the African Medicine Supply Platform, in this quarter," he pledged.

According to His Excellency, due to the anticipation of the arrival of the vaccines, enough cold chain facilities had been put in place to ensure the required conditions are met in their storage and also ensure widened access to accommodate same.

"We have, as such, upgraded our national, regional and district cold chain facilities in order to widen our access to vaccines like Pfizer and Modena, that require minus seventy degrees Celsius (-70℃) cold chains. These include sixteen (16) ultra-low cold freezers, fifty-eight (58) units of ultra-low freezers, fifty (50) normal vaccine refrigerators, three hundred (300) boxes to be filled with ice packs, three hundred (300) ice packed freezers, ten (10) cold chain vans, and one hundred and twenty (120) temperature monitoring devices. I thank, in particular, UPS, the American multi-national shipping, receiving and supply chain management company, for their generous donation towards this development," the president noted.

President Nana Addo has meanwhile assured Ghanaians of the safety of all the vaccines being used in the country as having been certified as safe by the regulatory bodies in the country.

"it is important to stress, once again, that all the vaccines to be used in the country have been certified as safe-for-use by our national regulatory agency, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA). There should, therefore, be no hesitancy amongst the population who are yet to be vaccinated. As the oft-cited saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry," the president explained.

President Nana Addo furthered that, the country was considering to build its capacity to be able to "produce its own vaccines domestically" so as to reduce the country's dependence on foreign supplies.

He indicated the government had already allocated a seed capital of US$25 million for the establishment of a National Vaccine Institute to spearhead the development as part of recommendations of a committee he established, that was tasked to ascertain "Ghana's potential as a vaccine manufacturing hub."

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