It has been a year since Ghana recorded its first two cases of COVID-19 after which time the country, like many around the world has had to deal with the devastating effects of the pandemic. Ghana, however, during this difficult time, showcased leadership, undertaking several initiatives to control the spread as efforts to produce a vaccine intensified. 

A little over a week ago, not too far behind vaccination schedules in the western world, Ghana was the first country in the West African sub-region to receive a shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility and for this NSA-Ghana commends the Government of Ghana for yet again showing leadership in this vaccination drive. 

COVAX which is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has a goal of ensuring equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally.

This first consignment however, can cater for only about 2% of Ghana’s population, and therefore NSA-Ghana is urging the government to expedite action to bring in more doses in keeping with the national vaccination roll- out plan. At least 65% – 70% of a country’s population needs to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity, literally meaning that there will be so little virus circulating in the country that, the rest of the population will be protected. 

Although health and medical experts have hailed COVID-19 vaccines as being one of the major achievements in modern times, not everyone agrees, and vaccination opposition remains relatively common. Ghana is no exception and specific to the COVID19 vaccine from the COVAX Facility, many Ghanaians have expressed mixed thoughts and feelings including concerns about Ghana being the first country in the sub-region to be administering the first batch of this particular COVID-19 vaccine. 

Nonetheless, key international agencies responsible for public health such as the World Health Organization (WHO), state that ‘’Immunization is a key component of Primary Health Care and an indisputable human right. It is also one of the best investments money can buy. Vaccines are very critical to the prevention and control of infectious-disease outbreaks. They underpin global health security and will be a vital tool in the battle against antimicrobial resistance’’. With this statement in mind, coupled with successes chalked over the years in the prevention of various infectious diseases through vaccination and the devastation COVID-19 continues to ravage worldwide,  NSA-Ghana is  urging  the government, agencies, assembly members, traditional leaders, celebrities and the media to work hand in hand to erase negative perceptions of Ghanaians about the vaccines and to rather encourage the general public to partake in the public sensitization as well as to be open-minded regarding  the COVID-19 vaccine.

Lastly, it is critical that we all understand that, despite the introduction of vaccines, we need to continue adhering to the COVID-19 protocols, that is, wearing a nose mask, regular hand washing or hand sanitizing and the practicing of social and physical distancing as these preventative measures remain key to keeping all safe.

Issued: 9th March, 2021 in Accra 

by the Non – State Actors for Health and Development Ghana. 

Editor’s Note: NSA – Ghana is a Coalition of Non – State Actors operating in the health sector in Ghana. These include NGOs, media, traditional leaders, academic institutions, philanthropic foundations among other relevant bodies. This platform is not a replacement for any existing networks but rather to serve as a very strong coordinating platform for advocacy to ensure that the desired change that society expects from the health sector is achieved.                                  Website: