Head of Department of Disease Surveillance Department (DSD) at the Ghana Health Service, Dr Franklin Asiedu Bekoe has disclosed that Ghana will be receiving approximately 500,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine this week.
According to Dr Bekoe, the 500,000 doses is part of the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines Ghana is yet to receive.
“If you look at the COVAX facility, Ghana is supposed to get 6 million [doses] and then for initial start, we’re getting 2.4 million. So this is the first batch of the 2.4 million which is coming. And it is purely the Oxford-AstraZeneca.”
Dr Bekoe is hopeful that vaccinations will start in the first week of March and that rolling out the vaccines would not be a challenge due to its cold temperature requirement.
With regards to how the vaccines will be rolled out, Dr Bekoe disclosed that it will be done by looking at the population in various segments according to their geographical location, people with health conditions among others.
“We’re looking at health workers, we are looking at people with underlying conditions, we are looking at people who are 60 years, and then the arms of government, essential workers. So those are the segmented population that we want to start for now.”
Dr Bekoe indicated that with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the first dose is not supposed to be administered in less than 3 weeks after the first dose, adding that it can be given between 8 to 12 weeks after the first dose.
As such, about 400,000 Ghanaians will be vaccinated in the first roll-out, with the second dose administered in March, when the second dose of the vaccine is expected to arrive.
“…If you look at the current regiment, they are saying that you don’t give less than 3 weeks. So we can give between 8-12 weeks.
“For our initial allocation, we are going to give all out, minus the usage factor of 5%, so in that case, we’re going to vaccinate over 400,000 people and then we will get the others to add on, he stated.”