Ghana has been selected to receive $24.7 million to accelerate the delivery of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccinations, as part of the United States’ Initiative for Global Vaccine Access (Global VAX).
This was announced by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Acting Mission Director, Janean Davis in Accra, on Monday at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital.
She was joined by the Director General of Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye; the Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr Emmanuel Srefenyoh and staff of the United States Embassy in Accra to, as part of the announcement, interact with pregnant women, lactating mothers and health service personnel that were vaccinated.
She said the new funding would be used to support vaccinators for the rapid deployment of COVID-19 vaccines; carry out communications and demand generation activities.
Ms Davis said the USAID wants everyone to know when and where to get vaccines and address misinformation regarding vaccinations.
She continued: “We will continue to support COVID-19 data systems to enhance data-informed decision making; and finally, we will support Ghana’s supply chain to ensure continued resilience and the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine across Ghana in every community.”
Ms Davis stated that vaccines do not pose any fertility issues whatsoever; that women who have received the COVID-19 vaccine have gone on to become pregnant and have given birth to healthy, happy babies.
While commending the pregnant women for being vaccinated regardless of conspiracy theories and myths surrounding the vaccines, Ms Davis urged Ghanaians above 15 years of age to get vaccinated as the vaccines were safe and effective.
“You are carrying beautiful bundles of joy, in your arms, and kicking in your bellies. I commend you for making the choice to save lives today – to protect yourself, your babies developing within you, and the babies you are breastfeeding.Thank you to the partners who are here to support your families.
“Today, we want to make the message loud and clear – vaccines are safe and effective. They are approved in Ghana for everyone above 15 years of age, including pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. Vaccines save lives – they protect you, your community, and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus globally,” Ms Davis added.
In March 2021, the Acting USAID Mission Director said Ghana was the first country to receive COVID-19 vaccines under COVAX adding that Ghana had now received more than 30 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, with the United States donating more than 9.6 million doses, over one-third of all vaccines Ghana has received with 2.5 million more doses on the way.
For his part, Dr Kuma-Aboagye reminded Ghanaians that no cure had been found for COVID-19 and urged them to get vaccinated.
He said the GHS vaccination targeted the most vulnerable areas and that out of the 13.4 million people vaccinated, six million were from Accra and Kumasi.
He said there were enough vaccines for everyone recommended for vaccination.
Global VAX is a U.S. Government effort to contribute to the global goal to vaccinate 70 per cent of the population of every country against COVID-19 in 2022. It is a whole government approach that builds on the extraordinary commitment President Joe Biden has made to donate more than 1.2 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2022 and intensify efforts to get shots in arms.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA