Vaccine hesitancy in Ghana still remains a challenge for stakeholders, according to the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) and the Health Promotion Division(HPD) of the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
The GMA, GRNMA and the HPD have formed a partnership to help transform about 2,000 health workers into vaccination champions and build capacity in risk communication and community engagement to address issues of disinformation and misinformation regarding Covid-19 vaccination.
This comes after it was revealed that among health workers, about forty percent (40%) had not received their second doses of vaccination and less than one percent (1%) had received booster doses.
Ghana has so far vaccinated about 16.5 million persons out of government's target of vaccinating at least 22.9 million.
According to the GMA and the GRNMA, the Partnership for Evidence Based Response to COVID-19 (EPERC) put overall vaccine hesitancy in Ghana at an average of 30 per cent with people under 25 years leading the score.
Again, data from the Ghana Health Services indicated that about thirty five(35) districts out of the two hundred and sixty (260) and less than twenty five percent(25%) of the eligible population got vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.
Speaking to the press, Dr Frank Serebour, President of the GMA said that extensive research would be conducted to understand the root of vaccine hesitancy.
”We will also collect data on the reasons underpinning hesitancy among health workers to understand and address the concerns and misunderstandings that exist" he said.
Dr Serebour urged government and all stakeholders, especially traditional and religious leaders, youth groups and the media to encourage vaccine acceptance and uptake particularly in districts and among people under 25 years.
He assured Ghanaians that the vaccines were completely safe and in cases where vaccinated people were infected, symptoms were mild.
Dr Aboagye Dacosta, GHS Director of Health Promotion said that with the aid of partners such as the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the National Misinformation Taskforce had been formed to manage rumors, misinformation, fake news among others.
He assured Ghanaians that there were enough vaccines available and urged full vaccination in order to avoid another wave of the pandemic.
President of the GRNMA, Mrs Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo noted that preventive protocols were still necessary and vital in reducing COVID-19 infections.
She said that these had become necessary after an increase in active cases in the Greater Accra, Eastern and Western Regions.
Ghana's active cases as of 20th June 2022 , she added, had risen to 1,255 cases.
She noted that face masks were still relevant especially in enclosed areas, as well as washing of hands with soap under running water and the use of hand sanitizers.
Mrs Ofori-Ampofo urged all eligible Ghanaians to get vaccinated.