The Minister-designate for Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has said that the government does not know the specific date the country will have its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines.
According to Mr Agyeman-Manu, the vaccines are expected to arrive in the country between February and March, but the specific date has not been indicated.
“Indications that we have- those of us working in trying to get the vaccines- is between mid-February and early March. As for the specific date, we are receiving any vaccine, we still do not have any indication.
“In spite of President’s efforts in talking to top [management] people in UNICEF, government bilateral levels, diplomatic high levels, etc., there is not a single indication of a date. All they are saying is this period,” he told the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Wednesday, February 10, 2020, during his vetting.
Meanwhile, the steps required in the acquisition of the vaccines, according to him, have all been done.
“We have done all the necessary registrations, orders and quantification. We have developed our strategy to completely finalise but even because of the date, as to the particular date that we will start the mobilisation, we don’t have that. All we are doing is preparedness so that if it comes even tomorrow morning, we can get them.”
Having said that, he blames the spread of the virus on the non-compliance of Ghanaians to the COVID-19 protocols.
He said: “As Ghanaians, we are in the habit of blaming leadership maybe the President and the Minister for not doing enough. We forget the fact that I ask you not to drink this and you drink it and you tell me I caused you to drink it or what? So enforcement of the rules can be there but voluntary compliance is what is lacking. That has taken us to this level.”
Citing an example to buttress his point, he indicated that the recent upsurge is as a result of the social interactions including indoor parties, that have occurred within the period.
According to him, staying indoor beyond two hours makes one vulnerable to contracting the disease.
He concluded by urging that “our communication now should be encouraging people to adhere to the protocols as strictly as we can and keep distances and see how we can avoid it.”