Mrs Ewurabena Dazdie, Health and Nutrition Technical Manager, World Vision Ghana, has described unfortunate Ghana’s inability to achieve the 20 million targets for COVID-19 vaccination by the end of 2021.
She said despite the proven efficacy of the vaccine, Ghana has not been able to achieve its set target due to vaccine hesitancy among the public.
Mrs Dadzie made this pronouncement when the World Vision Ghana with support from the German Development Cooperation embarked on a float at Jamestown and Chorkor communities in Accra to create awareness of the importance of the virus and the need to take the jabs to protect themselves and their families.
The sensitization was also aimed at increasing COVID-19 vaccination uptake in Ghana to reduce infection, spread and hospitalization.
She said it was important for Ghanaians to be informed to accept vaccines to save lives, adding, that the virus was still existent.
Ms Dadzie said only 50 per cent of the target had been achieved, adding that with the vaccine hesitancy and misconception, a new strain of virus would be overwhelming in Ghana.
She said people had been reading a lot of information on the internet which is untrue.
She said: “There is a lot of vaccine hesitancy in the country, our target was to have 20 million people vaccinated at the end of 2021. we have only done 50 per cent of those who have done the first vaccination and 36 per cent of those who have been fully vaccinated in the country. so, looking at that we are still at risk.
we have not reached the end community, so we are coming to a clear misconception and ensure everyone that the vaccines are safe”.
she noted that the World vision’s community sensitization would go a long way to clear the misconceptions and vaccine hesitancy among the public.
She said: People need to ask questions, that is why we have come into the community for people to approach and ask questions so that we inform the public for better understanding and increase the uptake of the vaccines.
At least if we can reach our target by the end of 2022, it will be good for the country.
According to Samuel Gmalu, the Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs Manager at World Vision Ghana, the pandemic impacted education where schools were closed. “Our focus is on children, ensuring that the children have lived in its fullness.
So once the focus is on children, there was the need to intervene”.
Mr Gmalu said the World Vision had earlier spent over $ 2 million in responding to covid-19 such as working closely with the government with the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), training nurses, engaging communities in sensitization and currently sensitization on encouraging people to take the vaccines.
He said, his outfit had also trained Pastors and other faith leaders to help clear the misconceptions and sensitize their congregation to take the vaccines.
“There are a lot of misconceptions associated with the vaccines, some think that it is a ploy by the developed nations to reduce our populations, so the training for the faith leaders was to unfold some of these myths and help them to understand that the vaccines are safe and to encourage their members to take the jabs”.
he said, with advanced research, children at the age of 10 years and beyond could now take any of the vaccines to ensure their health and safety.
The sensitization programme ended at the Tuesday market with a call on the community to avail themselves of the free vaccines at the various designated centres.
Some traders who spoke to the GNA said they had already taken the two vaccines in addition to the booster without any effect as purported.
They were hopeful that others who had not yet taken the vaccine would do so to guarantee their health and safety.