Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Minister for Health, has assured Parliament that steps are underway to ensure that vaccines are procured for children in the next few weeks. Mr Agyemang-Manu who gave the assurance on the floor of the House during his address on the matter, however, did not furnish the House with precise timelines for the arrival of essential childhood vaccines into the Country. He said: ‘Mr Speaker, we are expecting to receive vaccines within two to three weeks. We have done all the necessary arrangements and within two to three weeks we should get vaccines.’ According to the Health Minister, the government had done everything to ensure that the country had a delivery of vaccines earlier, ‘but it will be very difficult for me to tell you exactly when the vaccines will arrive,’ he said. Members of Parliament had inquired in the past week about the exact day the vaccines would arrive, but Mr Agyemang-Manu had assured that several uncontrolled factors would determine when the vaccines would arrive in the country. Reports have it that some parts of the country have been hit with a shortage of vaccines in the last few months despite claims by the National Health Insurance Authority that over GHS70 million had been released for the procurement of the vaccines. The minority caucus group through Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, Ranking Member on the Health Committee said despite the allocation of about GHS72 million for the procurement of vaccines, the country had been hit with the outbreak of Measles since October 2022 due to the shortage of vaccines. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday during the presentation of the State of the Nations Address expressed concern over the shortage of childhood vaccines in the country. He bemoaned that the shortage if prolonged would negatively affect Ghana’s Childhood Immunisation Programme. President Akufo-Addo, therefore, assured that efforts were underway to ensure that vaccines were procured immediately for all children. ‘Mr Speaker, I must say, however, that the current shortage of some childhood vaccines in the country is of great concern to me. This shortage, if prolonged, will negatively affect Ghana’s Childhood Immunisation Programme, which has been recognised as one of the most successful in the world. The WHO has recently expressed worry about a steady decline in measles vaccination coverage globally, because of the concentration on the fight against COVID-19,’ he said.
Source: Ghana News Agency