At least 7,870 minors aged 15 and 17 have received their first jab of COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines in the Greater Accra Region, as government steps up efforts at attaining herd immunity against COVID-19 nationwide.
Dr Charity Sarpong, the Regional Director of Health, said about 581 schools across the 29 districts of the region had so far been captured under the vaccination which began last Sunday, November 22, 2021.
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) had given the Ghana Health Service (GHS) authorisation to extend the age limit for administering Pfizer vaccines to age 15.
Hitherto, the country’s COVID-19 vaccination plan covered only persons 18 years and above with the exception of pregnant women.
Dr Sarpong said out-of-school children were gradually being roped into the exercise as the Service deployed different strategies to get them vaccinated.
“We have head porters (kayayie), hawkers, street children, and others within that age bracket which we are targeting so we are working with community leaders, adolescent clubs, visiting the market leaders, engaging with leadership of other associations, among others, to get these target groups vaccinated,” she said.
The Director said the region was targeting to reach at least 30,000 minors by the end of the year, adding that with the availability of vaccines in the system, it was likely to exceed the mark.
“The acceptance of the vaccines by those 15 to 17 years has been very encouraging. They are very willing to accept the vaccines and as and when we receive more vaccines, we will continue to deploy them to ensure everyone is protected from this virus.
“We encourage the general public to take advantage of the availability of vaccines across the board and ensure that they get vaccinated before the Christmas festivities set in,” she admonished.
Meanwhile, the GHS has declared the month of December as “vaccination month” to rally all unvaccinated members of the public to go for their jabs.
It has further directed that persons patronising nightclubs, beaches, restaurants and sports stadia from December this year, show proof of vaccination before allowed entry.
So far, of 20 million people targeted for vaccination before the end of the year, about 5.4 million have received at least a jab of COVID-19 vaccine.
Currently, the FDA has given emergency authorisation for five vaccines in the country; AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer and Sputnik V.
In the wake of reports of the omicron variant of the COVID-19 detected in some countries in the last few weeks, health authorities say Ghana is yet to confirm the variant although it was strengthening surveillance at its entry points.
However, active cases of COVID-19 stand at 669, with 1,209 deaths.