Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, former Minister for Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation has been appointed as chairman of a new committee on the development and manufacturing of a COVID-19 vaccine for the country.
Addressing the nation in his 24th update on measures taken against the novel coronavirus, President Akufo-Addo said “…I want to reiterate my determination that we should manufacture vaccines here in Ghana.”
“To this end, a committee has been established under the chairmanship of the former Minister for Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, the world-renowned scientist, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, which is formulating a concrete plan of action towards vaccine development and manufacturing,” he added.
Vaccine deployment plan
President Akufo-Addo also announced the national vaccine deployment plan which determines who gets vaccinated against the COVID-19 disease.
He said the population has been segmented into four groups and that will determine which section of the population gets vaccinated at a particular time.
The move follows the arrival of 600,000 doses of vaccines deployed into the country to aid in the fight against the pandemic.
Ghana is the first country in the world to take the delivery of vaccines under the COVAX facility.
President Akufo-Addo said Group 1 is categorized as “persons most at risk and frontline State officials”.
This includes healthcare workers, frontline security personnel, persons with underlying medical conditions, persons 60 years and above, and frontline members of the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary.
Group 2 is made up of other essential service providers and the rest of the security agencies.
It includes water and electricity supply services, teachers and students, supply and distribution of fuels, farmers and food value chain, telecommunications services, air traffic, and civil aviation control services, meteorological services, air transport services, and waste management services.
The second category also includes the media, public and private commercial transport services, the Police Service, Armed Forces, Prisons Service, Immigration Service, National Fire Service, CEPS Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, and other members of the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislature.
Group 3 consists of the rest of the general public, that is all persons over 18 years, except for pregnant women.
Group 4, which the final group includes pregnant mothers and persons under the age of 18, and they will be vaccinated when an appropriate vaccine, hopefully, is found, or when enough safety data on the present vaccines are available. Special arrangements will be made for persons with disabilities who fall within these groups.
From Tuesday 2 March to Monday 15 March 2021, the Ghana Health Service will begin the deployment of 600,000 AstraZeneca vaccines.
The exercise is expected to be conducted in 43 districts, which are the epi-centers of the pandemic in the country.
They are 25 districts in Greater Accra, 16 in Ashanti, and two in the Central Region.