Western Region Deputy Director of Public Health Dr. Gifty Amugi has disclosed that only 2 percent out of an eligible population of some 1,468,319 people in the region have received their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
“So far in the region, we have 1,468,318 people that we need to vaccinate. They are what we call the eligible population.
“As we speak, only 14.7 percent have taken at least one dose of the vaccine that will require that you take two jabs. Only 2.7 percent of this eligible population have taken two jabs or have been fully vaccinated.”
Dr. Gifty Amugi described the current figures as worrying given the country’s target to have 20 million people vaccinated.
“As a nation, we’ve set ourselves a target to vaccinate 20 million people. And currently we are doing only 2 percent of our eligible population and that is our proposition and that is not good enough”.
Cause of low patronage
The Deputy Director of Public Health explained that many people are hesitating to come for the vaccination because of many concerns, myths and misconceptions that are being bandied about which “unfortunately are being accepted as the truth”.
“Some think that the vaccine is going to kill them some years to come, some also say it is related to some religious something. And for others too, they are in communities that have not seen the devastating effects in terms of mortality from Covid-19 yet and so do not really see the need to be vaccinated.
“As a country, we haven’t experienced any severe conditions or deaths associated with the vaccines. In fact, all the supposed side effects, we are interested in them, so when you get vaccinated and you experience any effect no matter how small it is, you should report it to where you got vaccinated. Get forms and fill and we will investigate…”
Dr. Amugi noted also that “we cannot bring dead bodies to show people about the effects of the mortality but we are advising people to get vaccinated because Covid-19 is still around”.
Availability of vaccines
Dr. Amugi stated that the Western Region has enough vaccines to be able to vaccinate all the eligible population.
“As we sit here, we have the full complement to vaccinate our population. It is only a matter of consumption and as and when there are enough people available to be vaccinated. Therefore, we will plead with stakeholders, I mean from the community level, from religious leaders, assembly members, traditional leaders and all to come and hold hands with us…”.
She mentioned that the regional health directorate has planned to take the vaccination to the population if they will not come to them.
“What we are going to do now is that we ourselves will be moving out. We will set camp at lorry parks, markets, funerals and in fact places of mass gathering and do the vaccination. We are also encouraging companies, associations to put themselves together and call us and we will come to wherever they are and do the vaccination. And it is free of charge. We want people to get vaccinated at the easy access and also at their own convenience”.