The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says it is expecting 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to help vaccinate more of the country’s population.
The Director General of the service, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, disclosed this when he briefed the media on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
He said the doses are expected to arrive in Ghana before the end of August and are part of the bulk of vaccine requests it has made, all geared towards vaccinating the entire population against the virus.
“We are expecting about 1.2 million Pfizer vaccines from the US through COVAX, and we are hoping that latest by the middle of August, it should be available,” he said.
The Pfizer vaccine is said to be more effective against the delta variant of COVID-19, which is already leading to a spike in the number of active cases in Ghana.
Already 144 new COVID-19 infections were reported in Ghana between July 1 and July 14 whereas the entire month of June saw only 100 new cases.
Dr. Kuma-Aboagye says the strict adherence to the already known COVID-19 preventive protocols will save the country from experiencing a third wave that could overwhelm the entire health system.
While the number of critical cases is still significantly low, there has generally been a gradual increase in the number of active cases.
The vaccination programme so far
Dr. Kumah-Aboagye said the government is exploring more options of getting enough AstraZeneca vaccines for persons who are yet to get their second doses of the vaccine.
Currently, 865,422 people have received the first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine and only 405,971 of this number have gone ahead to receive their second doses.
The Ghana Health Service says it will soon receive 250,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX facility to vaccinate those who are yet to get their second doses.
It says additional efforts are also under way to through the African Union to secure 17 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
Cold chain facility
Dr. Kuma-Aboagye said in view of the high volumes of vaccines expected, the country is expanding its cold chain facilities to store the products when they arrive.