Accra, The leadership of teacher unions, drivers, and private school heads have welcomed Government’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.
They described the strategy as timely following the recording of cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the country but said broader consultations were needed for effective implementation.
As part of interventions to curb the spread of COVID-19, Government has made vaccination mandatory for some groups of workers, including drivers, teachers and security offices, from January next year.
The Government on November 28, also declared December as vaccination month with the objective of creating awareness and vaccinating about 20 million of the population to reach herd immunity.
In separate interviews with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), leaders of some of the association of workers targeted under the mandatory vaccination have called for intensive education before implementation.
Enock Kwesi Gyetuah, the National Executive Director of the Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS), said the policy, which had a national character would require private school owners to consult guardians of children before allowing them to be vaccinated.
Issues of vaccines and health in general, he said, did not fall within the remit of private school owners and that, “the schools should rather consult the parents for consent note to show that they have really agreed to that”.
He said nuances of cultural and religious beliefs needed to be addressed through education for parents of children in secondary school to welcome the policy.
“We the council support it from all angles, but we have already informed our members to get approval from the parents,” he said.
The General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Mr Thomas Musah, said the Association had not been engaged on the policy and, therefore, urged the Ghana Health Service to engage all stakeholders for the successful implementation of the policy.
“In our tripartite meeting last year, we agreed on it that we must take steps to ensure that workers and their families are protected and so we will not kick against it (mandatory vaccination) as government all over the world are doing it to protect their people,” he said.
Mr Musah emphasised the need for education and sensitisation before people were made to face sanctions for going against the policy, adding, “when you are introducing a good thing and you want to bring in punishment, then you are calling for resistance.”
Mr Abass Moro, the spokesperson for the Ghana Private Road Transport Union, said health authorities had to “change the mindset” of drivers before the mandatory vaccination policy could be effective.
Attempts to get comments from the leadership of the Public Service Workers Union (PSWU) of Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Events and Meetings Professionals Association of Ghana (EMPAG), were unsuccessful.
Source: Ghana News Agency