Infectious disease expert worried over Ghana’s herd immunity chances

Dr. John Amoasi, an infectious disease professional, has expressed concern with the fact that Ghana will not be meeting the 70 percent mark for the segment of the population vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Ghana would have to vaccinate at least 70 percent of its population to achieve herd immunity but Dr. Amoasi noted on the Citi Breakfast Show that the exclusion of persons under 18-years-of-age will see Ghana fall below the herd immunity mark.

Because of Ghana’s fertility rate of almost four births per woman, he said it is likely a good section of our population might be pregnant.

This is in contrast to an area like the United Kingdom where the fertility rate is 1.68.

“What that means is if you bunch up pregnant women and a bunch of under-16s, it will take you to a certain percentage of the population which if you subtract from the rest of the population would take you less than 70 percent.”

Dr. Amoasi thus stressed that countries like Ghana ought to be more invested in trials for pregnant women and children.

“We need to be interested in trials of this vaccine in the population under 16 and in other vulnerable population like pregnant women if we ever want to achieve this herd immunity.”

Drugmaker Pfizer and German partner BioNTech recently announced that they were about to enrol about 4,000 healthy pregnant women in a trial.

Aside from the concerns with the excluded population, the government has so far indicated that its target is to vaccinate 20 million of Ghana’s estimated 30 million population.

This translates to 67 percent of Ghana’s population.

The Food and Drugs Authority has currently approved the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines for use in Ghana.

The Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are also under consideration.

The government has already indicated that it had plans to purchase 350,000 doses of the AstraZeneca by the end of February.

The vaccine rollout has been earmarked for between March and October.

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