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COVID-19 vaccines will be free – Nsiah-Asare

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Ghanaians will not have to stress on finding money for the payment of COVID-19 vaccines which arrived in the country on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare has disclosed.

Speaking on Newsfile, an analytical program on Joy News last Saturday, the Presidential Advisor on Health said government seeks to embark on such free delivery of the vaccines to help vaccinate the majority of the citizenry out of financial burden.

“If the private sector at the private health facility wants to finance the procurement of the vaccines they are free to do that through the Ministry of Health but they cannot bring it in and sell for profit. No, we are giving everything for free of charge.

“We don’t want money to be a barrier, so there should be no financial barrier to anybody. Private hospitals like Nyaho Medical Centre and the rest, we will be using them as vaccination centres because we want the vaccines to reach people who need it.”

Ghana received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines through a UN-backed global vaccine-sharing scheme, COVAX, as part of efforts to enable equitable access to the jabs by low and middle-income countries.

The consignment, which arrived at the Kotoka International Airport, consisted of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines, which are expected to be administered first to frontline health workers, and high-risk persons and people over 60 years, to slow the progression of the disease.

Responding to a question on when Ghana would receive the next batch, Dr Nsiah hinted that it’s likely to happen in a week time or two.

To him, government is working assiduously through other sources to ensure that it procures the vaccines.

“I’m very sure that within the next week or two, we will get another batch of vaccines coming into the country, the one which is coming is combination of what government is buying directly and what we have also from COVAX.

“We are getting about 20 per cent of the vaccines that we need for the population from the COVAX Facility. Government is also buying its own vaccines as the president said the last time; from every source where the vaccine receive emergency use authorization,”

Meanwhile six more persons have succumbed to COVID-19 in Ghana. This brings the death toll to 594.

In the latest update by the Ghana Health Service, the country recorded 455 new cases.

The Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western, Eastern and Central Regions continue to lead with the highest rate of infections.

Ghana has recorded a total of 82, 586 cases with 76,573 recoveries since mid-March 2020.

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