Ghana’s vaccine deployment plan is expected to kick off in mid-March, two weeks earlier than initially planned.

According to the Programme Manager of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation, Dr. Kwame Amponsah-Achiano, with the availability of vaccine candidates globally, Ghana has drafted its national vaccine deployment plan to aid roll out as part of COVID-19 preventive measures.

“The plan is a product of several engagements, commitments, meetings and review of available documents with several development partners” he said.

Dr. Amponsah-Achiano was speaking at a webinar organized by the Centre for Social Justice on Thursday under the topic, COVID-19 Vaccines in Ghana, Availability, the Science and the Myths.

Vaccine deployment would be based on segmentation of the population, with the eventual vaccination of the entire target population of twenty million.

The vaccination will be staggered in three phases between March and August 2021. Phase 1 is expected to cater for health care workers, security personnel and persons with known underlying medical conditions.

About 1,555,475 people are expected to be vaccinated during this phase. Phase 2 will include adults above 60 years, secondary and tertiary students, teachers, essential service providers, specialized groups on national assignment, the executive, legislature, judiciary, ministries, civil service and media personnel, covering approximately 6,380,620 people. Phase 3 will cover other members of the population excluding children under 16 years and pregnant women. About 9,523,313 persons will be vaccinated.

It is expected that the deployment will pose huge cold chain logistical challenges, with 15 districts and 7 regional health directorates needing new facilities including walk-in cold rooms.

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Training of personnel for the vaccine deployment is set to begin and are designed to mix the virtual and in-person practical approach to ensure adherence to COVID-19 preventive protocols.

The Chairman of the Governing Council of the Centre for Social Justice Dr. Sodzi Sodzi-Tettey said that the webinar was organized by the centre to satisfy the need for credible information on Ghana’s strategy towards managing the pandemic.

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