President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the country is working earnestly to ensure local production of the COVID-19 vaccines to control the pandemic.
“Ghana’s vision is to develop and produce the vaccines in the next five years, and the government, in between time, has projected to vaccinate 20 million people by the end of 2021 against the COVID-19,” he said.
“The National Vaccine Manufacturing Committee, chaired by Professor Frimpong Boateng, is working assiduously to give us a road map to develop the vaccine in the period of five years. We’ve gone far. There is no doubt about it….our target is to have more vaccines.”
The President said the goal was to achieve a universal coverage of vaccination and also contain the spread of the virus “whether rural or urban and nobody will be left out.”
President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance in response to complaints that the COVID-19 vaccines were concentrated in urban areas, when he met the Nzema Manle Council at Azeleonu in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region.
The meeting formed part of his two-day visit to the region.
President Akufo-Addo said the 2020/2021 population census projected Ghana’s population to be 40 million with two-thirds of it being adults.
He said the vaccination would continue to target the urban population and “Cabinet is determined that we have the capacity of making our own vaccines here so nobody will be left behind”.
The President said it was not a deliberate policy of government to deny people access to the vaccines adding that more vaccines would be acquired to reinforce the vaccination of more than 20 million people by end of September.
“We are more determined to vaccinate the entire population. Germany is getting us 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca, the United States of America is also giving us a significant donation, while the British Government will give us the Johnson and Johnson vaccines,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“Hopefully, we’ll get more than 4.5 million vaccines to reinforce the vaccination of 20 million people by September.”
The President said the COVID-19 pandemic, no doubt, affected the urban towns known as the hotspots in Greater Accra, Ashanti, Volta, Eastern and Western regions where there were spikes in infections.
He appealed to the clergy, chiefs, queen mothers and opinion leaders to lead the campaign in promoting the vaccination to contain the pandemic in Ghana.
The President said government had proposed the Omanhen of Western Nzema, Awulae Annor Adjaye III, as the Board Chair of the Petroleum Hub to be established in the Jomoro enclave.
“This is a major economic development, which will impact on job creation. It’s a big project and Awuale Annor Adjaye will help achieve that goal of improving our Gross Domestic Product, the volume of taxes and revenue,” he said.
Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli III, the President of the Nzema Manle Council, applauded the efforts of the Government to construct harbours and the Petroleum Hub to promote the maritime economy, and said: “This must be sustained”.
“We thank you for your leadership in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. You and your team did your best to reduce the fatalities in the country.”