The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) Caucus has called on the government to expedite action on the procurement and deployment of covid-19 vaccines to prevent further health risks.
At an emergency press conference, the Minority led by Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, the Ranking Member on the Committee of Health indicated that, “it was expected that the vaccines would have arrived before the 28th of April so that those who had taken their first jabs could take the second jabs and those not vaccinated would get the opportunity,”
“However, today is the 2nd of May, and as we speak, not an additional dose of AstraZeneca vaccines have arrived, putting Ghanaians who already had the first jab at risk of losing the partial immunity they acquired through vaccination,”
He added, “This has the potential to make some Ghanaians procure from unauthorized sources sub-standard jabs of Covid-19 vaccines to extend the protection they have after taking the first jab.”
The Minority accused the government of waiting for freebies, in terms of foreign and donor assistance, and wondered to what use an estimated amount of $420 million allocated to the procurement of 42 million vaccines targeted at 20 million Ghanaians by the end of the year was being put.
“Contrary to government’s chorus of ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’, we have so far depended on aid from donor partners to vaccinate Ghanaians and it raises serious concerns about the capacity and competence of Government to deliver on its to promise,” the Minority said.
The government has faced challenges in procuring additional vaccines to meet the initial eight-week window given to persons who received the first jab, to get their second dose.
The Ghana Health Service recently issued a communiqué postponing the second phase of vaccination exercise for persons who have taken the first jab.
A total of 755,686 people have received their first jabs of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, with the Greater Accra Region having the highest number of inoculated persons.