The Director of Health Promotions at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Aboagye DaCosta, has clarified that the mandatory vaccination for Ghanaian residents will start in January 2022 and not this December.
Speaking on concerns regarding the mandatory vaccination, he explained that declaring December as a vaccination month doesn’t imply vaccination is mandatory. He stated that the exercise is to buy time for citizens to vaccinate before the mandatory directives are implemented.
“Let me say that currently, we are not doing any mandatory vaccination. We have declared the month of December as the month of vaccination…And once they are vaccinated, if you look at the Public Health Act 2012, Act 851, Section 22 it shows the compulsory vaccination”.Dr. Aboagye DaCosta
According to Dr. Aboagye DaCosta, before the compulsory vaccination kick starts in January, the minister will announce the date and have all modalities in place so that people’s rights are respected.
“The minister will certainly come with the Executive Instrument by January for the compulsory vaccination in the country”.Dr. Aboagye DaCosta
Speaking on the directive to vaccinate at the Airport, he said although some stakeholders are using the constitution to back their reasons to resist the mandatory vaccination not be done, the constitution demands that persons protect themselves from the virus.
“Now, let’s go to the Public Health Act 2012, 851 section 26, where it talks about examination and vaccination as point of entry. That is what we started yesterday and what does it says? It says that it may examine and vaccinate a person who arrives in the country but cannot produce satisfactory evidence of successful vaccination”.Dr. Aboagye DaCosta
Dr. Aboagye DaCosta mentioned that the Act gives the health professionals the right to vaccinate people on arrival. This, he explained, is the mandate that has been given to the minister by the Public Health Act.
7.5 million people vaccinated
According to Dr. Aboagye DaCosta, data from the GHS indicates that Ghana has so far vaccinated 7.5 million people since the COVID-19 mass vaccination programme started on March 2, 2021.
The Director of health promotion at the Ghana Health Service, noted that the past few days have witnessed about three million jabs being administered and assured that more Ghanaians will be inoculated by the end of 2021.
“Around five million of the doses have been given and we did this in silence. People thought that we were not doing anything but we were just using a strategy. Now, we declared the month of December as vaccination month and at the time we had only vaccinated five million. As we speak, as of last two days when I checked the data, we had vaccinated 7.5 million. This means that we have actually added between 2.5 to three million jabs”.Dr. Aboagye DaCosta
Dr. Aboagye DaCosta stated that the system in Ghana is effective. He added that there is a very robust decentralized immunization system, where when the nation gets the vaccines from the districts to the regions they are deployed quickly.