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COVID-19 vaccine rollout to rely on GHS infrastructure – Agyeman-Manu

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The Health Minister-nominee, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, says Ghana’s coronavirus vaccine rollout will rely on already existing infrastructure put in place by the Ghana Health Service.

Like some analysts have noted, the nominee said the vaccination rollout will leverage Ghana’s “robust immunisation programme” which has a 95 percent coverage nationwide.

“When we started developing the vaccine strategy, we thought it wise not to reinvent the wheel but continue to rely on what is good for us,” Mr. Agyeman-Manu during his vetting.

“If you look at the strategy, when it is fully confirmed, you will see we are using Ghana Health Service infrastructure,” he added.

On cold chain infrastructure to store the vaccine, Mr. Agyeman-Manu said Ghana was limiting its procurement of the vaccine to the types it can effectively preserve.

He disclosed that Ghana only has ultra-negative cold chain equipment in Accra and Kumasi.

“But we have cold chain equipment that can take some types of vaccines we are looking for. The first vaccines that we may get will be AstraZeneca. That can be stored in our current cold chain infrastructure.”

The nominee also said the government was eyeing the Johnson and Johnson vaccine which it can also effectively store.

The first procured vaccine will be in the country by March, Mr. Agyeman-Manu assured further.

Ghana is getting vaccines through COVAX, a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI).

Ghana is targeting the procurement of 17 million vaccines.

byDelali Adogla-Bessa

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