COVID-19: Mahama, Ga Mantse, Chief of Staff, others vaccinated

The two-week vaccination exercise has kicked off successfully at selected locations across the country

Former president John Dramani Mahama and his wife Lordina on Tuesday (2 March 2021) received their first shots of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Police Hospital in Accra.

The two-week exercise has taken off successfully at selected locations across the country after president Nana Akufo-Addo, vice-president Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and their spouses received their jabs on Monday.

The chief of staff Frema Osei-Opare and Nii Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, the supreme ruler of the Ga-Dangme people of the Greater Accra Region, also joined the list of high-profile figures participating in the exercise.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, is also taking his shot today at the Manhyia Palace. Other prominent personalities such as former president John Agyekum Kufuor among others are also expected to be vaccinated.

Doubts cleared

Speaking with Nana Yaa Mensah on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Tuesday, presidential advisor on health Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare said the decision by the first and second families to receive the vaccine on Monday has reduced doubts people had about the vaccine.

“Today is the turn of other officials from the superior court and it will be followed with other dignitaries like former heads of state and senior government officials will also be in one of the hospitals to take the vaccine,” he said.

“It will continue today also in the Ashanti Region, I understand the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is also leading the one in Kumasi. He will be the first to take in the Ashanti Region, the 16 districts in the Ashanti Region will be participating, and that will also open the gate for the vaccination in the region for the next two weeks,” Dr Asare added.

He was hopeful the exercise will be successful as government targets 20 million people to be vaccinated by December.

Roll out plan

Ghana is the first country in the world to take delivery of vaccines under the COVAX facility.

President Akufo-Addo gave a breakdown of persons who will benefit from the vaccines as “persons most at risk and frontline state officials”.

This includes healthcare workers, frontline security personnel, persons with underlying medical conditions, persons 60 years and above, and frontline members of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.

Group 2 is made up of other essential service providers and the rest of the security agencies.

It includes water and electricity supply services, teachers and students, supply and distribution of fuels, farmers and food value chain, telecommunications services, air traffic and civil aviation control services, meteorological services, air transport services and waste management services.

The second category also includes the media, public and private commercial transport services, the Police Service, Armed Forces, Prisons Service, Immigration Service, National Fire Service, CEPS Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, and other members of the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislature.

Group 3 consists of the rest of the general public, that is all persons over 18 years, except for pregnant women.

Group 4, which the final group includes pregnant mothers and persons under the age of 18, and they will be vaccinated when an appropriate vaccine, hopefully, is found, or when enough safety data on the present vaccines are available. Special arrangements will be made for persons with disabilities who fall within these groups.

The Ghana Health Service will today begin the deployment of 600,000 AstraZeneca vaccines.

The exercise is expected to be conducted in 43 districts, which are the epi-centres of the pandemic in the country.

They are 25 districts in Greater Accra, 16 in Ashanti and two in the Central Region.

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