A three-month National COVID-19 vaccination campaign has ended with over I million doses of varied COVID-19 vaccines administered.
The campaign was implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH GIZ in partnership with the Ghana Health Service, World Vision, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and the African German Health Association from July to September 2022.
It sought to dissipate the misconceptions about the COVID-19 vaccines to reduce vaccine hesitancy and increase vaccination uptake.
Dr Da Costa Aboagye, Director of Health Promotion at the GHS, speaking at the close out ceremony of the campaign, said the number of doses administered had helped Ghana exceed its national target of vaccinating 20 million people to 21 million as of November 2022.
“As of November 25, a total of 21, 163,810 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered and at least 12,155,754 persons representing 38 per cent of the population have received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, “he said.
He said over the campaign period, 1000 vaccinators and health care workers were trained in 150 districts to improve their understanding of the vaccine available, and to address vaccine hesitancy.
Similarly, over 2500 community members and champions were convinced of the need and the effectiveness of the vaccination against COVID-19.
Dr Aboagye said education given by the public health officers of the GHS helped to persuade and reassure many people, in rural communities on the safety of the vaccine and the need to get vaccinated.
Mr Nikolai Hohendannes, a Monitoring Specialist, GIZ, said the campaign created a platform for the vaccination team to address misconceptions about the vaccine.
Some of the misconceptions were that the COVID-19 vaccine would lead to infertility and impotence.
He said during the campaign, 550 health care workers and 440 vaccinators were trained in 95 districts on effective risk communication, adding that about 10 vaccination centres were equipped for better waste management and Infection Prevention and Control.
Mr Hohendannes said with the support of the partners, Ghana Health Service deployed vaccines to various communities and even had some vaccines administered directly to citizens in their homes.
“The campaign supported some districts with COVID-19 data management and partners have worked closely together to increase public awareness on the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19,” he said.
At the closing out ceremony, the GIZ presented laptops, desktops, printers, camera and camera lights and 250 tablets among others to the Ghana Health Service.