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COVID-19: Government moves to procure additional vaccines

Government has initiated steps aimed at procuring additional COVID-19 vaccines to help in the fight against the pandemic, Presidential advisor on health, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, has said.

This is to help augment the quota allocated to Ghana by the GAVI Alliance (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) to help fight the viral disease.

Speaking in an interview with Asaase News, Dr Nsiah assured that the first batch of vaccines may arrive earlier than planned.

“We are working around the clock to make sure that we get the vaccine in the country as quickly as possible… If you want to deploy vaccine, they have to be registered by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), secondly it should be pre-qualified by the WHO, and it should be affordable and accessible,” Dr Nsiah said.

“So, we as a country are also working out that we also get our own, we procure on our own in addition to the one which will be coming,” he added.

Dr Asare also said work is underway to identify groups that will require the vaccination when it arrives in the country.

“We [are] also working on people who [will] receive it first, is it frontline workers, is it people who are at risk and all that… the government has also planned to procure some, because COVAD is giving us about 20 percent of the vaccines,” Dr Nsiah added.

There are indication government will be allocated about 20 million vaccines from the GAVI Alliance in the coming weeks.

No new variant

Ghana has recorded the new variant of COVID-19 following recent genomic sequencing by scientists in the country, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced on Sunday.

The infected individuals, most of whom are international passengers who arrived at Kotoka International Airport, have since been isolated. At the same time, work has begun to establish the extent of spread of the new variant among the general population.

Delivering his 22nd update on measures taken against the spread of the coronavirus on Sunday (17 January 2021), President Akufo-Addo said the country is now recording 200 new cases daily, on average, because of the lack of adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

“Recent genomic sequencing undertaken by our scientists have established that some arriving passengers tested positive for new variants of COVID-19.

“These passengers have all been isolated. Furthermore, work is ongoing to determine the presence and extent of spread of the new variants in the general population,” Akufo-Addo said.

Source: Asaase Radio

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