The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has declared December as Vaccination Month to ensure more Ghanaians are immunised against the COVID-19 infection as the yuletide approaches.
The Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, will on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 launch the Special Vaccination Programme.
The group of persons to be vaccinated during the period include all government workers, security personnel, health workers, staff and students at secondary and tertiary education institutions, commercial drivers and their mates, as well as staff of the three Arms of Government.
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the GHS, who announced this at a media briefing in Accra on Sunday, said the Service would reinforce the monitoring and enforcement of existing COVID-19 protocols in collaboration with the security agencies.
The vaccination would be undertaken at lorry parks, markets, churches, mosques and sports stadia, he said, and urged the public to cooperate with the vaccinators for a successful exercise.
Ghana had not recorded the new COVID-19 variant called Omicron, which is heavily mutated, but would conduct more genome sequencing to determine whether there were cases in the country, he said.
Data from the Ghana Infectious Disease Centre revealed that 87 per cent of unvaccinated persons are likely to suffer severe or critical ailment from COVID-19 and seven times more likely to die from the virus.
Touching on the GHS' strategy for the Upcoming Christmas, Dr Kuma-Aboagye said the Service would reinforce response mechanisms to the anticipated surge in Covid-19 infections, strengthen contact tracing and follow-ups, as well as improve risk communication and provision of more reagents for testing.
Those measures were necessary because of an anticipated increase in international arrivals and a possible increase in mass gathering and in-country activities that were likely to result in an uptick of Covid-19 cases, he said.
Between December 2021 and January 2022, one must, therefore, be vaccinated before entering nightclubs, restaurants' beaches and sports stadia.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said 12.5 million vaccines out of the 20 million targeted this year had been received with 5.4 million people vaccinated.
There were 5,469,470 AstraZeneca vaccines administered representing 45.6 per cent, Janssen Vaccine; 186,150, representing 19.4 per cent, Moderna was 719,838, constituting 10.0 per cent, Pfizer; 725,562 (24.9 per cent), and Sputnik V; 21,000 (0.2 per cent).
Ghana has, so far, recorded 131,082 positive cases of COVID-19 with 1.9 million tests conducted.
There are currently 713 active cases, 129,149 recoveries, 22 severe cases, and 1,220 deaths.